Triptych, May–June 1973

suicide of his lover George DyerTriptych, May - June, 1973
Triptych, May–June 1973 is a triptych completed in 1973 by the Irish-born artist Francis Bacon (1909–1992).wikipedia
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Francis Bacon (artist)

Francis BaconBaconGeorge Dyer
Triptych, May–June 1973 is a triptych completed in 1973 by the Irish-born artist Francis Bacon (1909–1992). The oil-on-canvas was painted in memory of Bacon's lover George Dyer, who committed suicide on the eve of the artist's retrospective at Paris's Grand Palais on 24 October 1971.
Following the suicide of his lover George Dyer in 1971 (later memorialized in the painting Triptych, May–June 1973) his art became more sombre, inward-looking and preoccupied with the passage of time and death.

The Black Triptychs

Black Triptychs
Of the three Black Triptychs Bacon painted when confronting Dyer's death, Triptych, May–June 1973 is generally regarded as the most accomplished.
When Melvyn Bragg challenged him in a 1985 BBC interview with the observation that Triptych, May–June 1973 was the nearest he had come to telling a story, Bacon admitted that "it is in fact the nearest I've ever done to a story, because you know that is the triptych of how he [Dyer] was found".

Esther Grether

Triptych, May–June 1973 was purchased at auction in 1989 by Esther Grether for $6.3 million, then a record for a Bacon painting.
Grether owns Bacon's Triptych, May–June 1973 (one of Bacon's three "Black Triptychs" ) which she purchased at auction in 1989 for $6.3 million, a record price for a Bacon painting at that time.

Triptych–August 1972

work of the same title
In its display caption for Triptych–August 1972 the Tate gallery wrote, "What death has not already consumed seeps incontinently out of the figures as their shadows."
As with the third triptych in the series, Triptych, May–June 1973, each panel shows a wall with a large open door behind Dyer.

Triptych

triptychsartistic triptych techniqueBacon triptych
Triptych, May–June 1973 is a triptych completed in 1973 by the Irish-born artist Francis Bacon (1909–1992).

Grand Palais

Grand Palais des Champs-ElyséesLe Grand PalaisGrand
The oil-on-canvas was painted in memory of Bacon's lover George Dyer, who committed suicide on the eve of the artist's retrospective at Paris's Grand Palais on 24 October 1971.

The Daily Telegraph

Daily TelegraphThe TelegraphTelegraph
In 2006, The Daily Telegraph's art critic Sarah Crompton wrote that "emotion seeps into each panel of this giant canvas ... the sheer power and control of Bacon's brushwork take the breath away".

East End of London

East EndEast LondonLondon's East End
Dyer was then about thirty years old and had grown up in the East End of London in a family steeped in crime.

Michael Peppiatt

Peppiatt, Michael
His compact and athletic build belied a docile and inwardly tortured personality; the art critic Michael Peppiatt described him as having the air of a man who could "land a decisive punch".

Michel Leiris

Leiris
Many critics have cited Dyer's portraits as favourites, including Michel Leiris and Lawrence Gowling.

Binge drinking

benderdrinking bingebinge
Bacon's money allowed Dyer to attract hangers-on who would accompany him on massive benders around London's Soho.

Soho

Soho, LondonBroad Street pumpSoho district
Bacon's money allowed Dyer to attract hangers-on who would accompany him on massive benders around London's Soho.

Barbiturate

barbituratesbarbiturate withdrawalsleeping pill
In mid-evening he was informed that Dyer had taken an overdose of barbiturates and was dead.

Erinyes

FuriesFuryEumenides
He did not express his feelings to critics, but later admitted to friends that "daemons, disaster and loss" now stalked him as if his own version of the Eumenides.

Colm Tóibín

Colm ToibinColm TóibinColm Toibín
Although his arched back, thighs and legs are according to the Irish critic Colm Tóibín, "lovingly painted", Dyer is by now clearly a broken man.

Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion

In 1999, Yard wrote that the sense of foreboding and ill-omen conjured by the Eumenides of Bacon's Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944) reappears in the triptych as a "batlike void that snared the figure of George Dyer as he subsides into the supple curves of death".

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of ArtMetropolitan MuseumNew York Metropolitan Museum of Art
A reviewer of the 1975 Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition found a resemblance between the concept of the central panel and Albrecht Dürer's engraving Melencolia I (1514)—in the figure's pose, the bat form, and the panel's radiance—suggesting that Bacon's late triptychs evoke "memorable figural formulations" of classic Western culture.

Albrecht Dürer

DürerDurerAlbrecht Durer
A reviewer of the 1975 Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition found a resemblance between the concept of the central panel and Albrecht Dürer's engraving Melencolia I (1514)—in the figure's pose, the bat form, and the panel's radiance—suggesting that Bacon's late triptychs evoke "memorable figural formulations" of classic Western culture.

Melencolia I

Melancholia IMelancoliaMelancolia I
A reviewer of the 1975 Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition found a resemblance between the concept of the central panel and Albrecht Dürer's engraving Melencolia I (1514)—in the figure's pose, the bat form, and the panel's radiance—suggesting that Bacon's late triptychs evoke "memorable figural formulations" of classic Western culture.

Tate

Tate GalleryTate CollectionThe Tate
In its display caption for Triptych–August 1972 the Tate gallery wrote, "What death has not already consumed seeps incontinently out of the figures as their shadows."

Calvary

GolgothaMount CalvaryGolgatha
The figures rendered are not drawn from any of Bacon's usual intellectual sources; they do not depict Golgotha, Handes, or Leopold Bloom.

Lucius Accius

AcciusAttiusHandes
The figures rendered are not drawn from any of Bacon's usual intellectual sources; they do not depict Golgotha, Handes, or Leopold Bloom.

Leopold Bloom

BloomLeopold
The figures rendered are not drawn from any of Bacon's usual intellectual sources; they do not depict Golgotha, Handes, or Leopold Bloom.

Juan Vicente Aliaga

Describing the Black Triptychs in 1993, the art critic Juan Vicente Aliaga wrote that "the horror, the abjection that oozed from the crucifixes has been transformed in his last paintings into quiet solitude. The masculine bodies entwined in a carnal embrace have given way to the solitary figure leaning over the washbasin, standing firm on the smooth ground, neutral, bald-headed, his convex back deformed, his testicles contracted in a fold."

Melvyn Bragg

Melvin BraggLord BraggThe Lord Bragg
When asked by the broadcaster Melvyn Bragg in 1984 if the portraits painted in the wake of Dyer's death were depictions of his emotional reaction to the event, Bacon replied that he did not consider himself to be an "expressionist painter".