A major Francis Bacon painting from 1968 will be shown in a British public gallery for the first time as part of new room in the British Art Displays at Tate Britain, supported by BP.
Two Figures Lying on a Bed with Attendants 1968 has been generously lent by the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in whose collection it has been since the 1970s.
The triptych is included in a display which explores the powerful visceral quality of Bacon’s work and includes some iconic paintings from the Tate Collection including another celebrated triptych, his Three Studies for Figures at the Base of the Crucifixion 1944.
Two Figures Lying on a Bed with Attendants shows figures in two flanking panels who appear to spy on two naked men lying on a bed in the central panel. Bacon frequently suggests an equivalence between human beings and other creatures in his work and in the left panel he seems to connect a wading bird and a man, while on the right he draws a parallel between an ape and a suited figure.
In autumn 2004 the work will return to the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, where it will form part of a new public display.
The Francis Bacon display at Tate Britain has been devised by Tate Curator Toby Treves and opens on 18 June.
Francis Bacon Two Figures Lying on a Bed with Attendants 1968
Oil on canvas
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
Photo: Jila Dejam
© Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved DACS 2004