Triptych August 1972, 1989

Francis Bacon is one of the most distinctive and engaging figurative painters to emerge during the post-war period. His work is renowned for its emotionally charged, raw imagery and use of personal motifs. Originating as a painting, Triptych August 1972, is one of 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, based on a photograph of wrestlers by Edward Muybridge, suggests a sexual encounter. The seated figures and their coupling are set against black voids and the central flurry can be interpreted as a ‘life and death struggle’.