Francis Bacon
Triptych August 1972 1972

Artwork details

Francis Bacon 1909–1992
Triptych August 1972
Date 1972
Medium Oil paint and sand on 3 canvases
Dimensions Support, each: 1981 x 1473 mm
frame (each): 2175 x 1668 x 102 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1980
Not on display

Display caption

This work is generally considered one in a series of Black Triptychs which followed the suicide of Bacon’s lover, George Dyer. Dyer appears on the left and Bacon is on the right.The central group is derived from a photograph of wrestlers by Edward Muybridge, but also suggests a more sexual encounter. The seated figures and their coupling are set against black voids and the central flurry has been seen as ‘a life-and-death struggle’. The artist’s biographer wrote: ‘What death has not already consumed seeps incontinently out of the figures as their shadows.’

May 2007