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Lot 1194: § Francis Bacon, 1909-1992, oil on canvas, part of a painting circa 1953/4, painted as a study for a Francis Bacon Pope portrait.
March 21, 2013
Woking, United KingdomLive Auction
§ Francis Bacon, 1909-1992, oil on canvas, part of a painting circa 1953/4, painted as a study for a Francis Bacon Pope portrait. The canvas shows what the yellow, white and black edge and leg of a chair, and some of the white Papal clothing, on a black and blue ground, bearing similarities to the Bacon painting "Study after Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X (1953)".
On stretchers, the reverse showing a still life painted in 1958, inscribed verso, 'The Studio at Orchard Avenue' signed by Lewis Todd (1925-2006).
Height 36", width 24" (additional 3" height and 4" width obscured where the canvas is nailed to stretchers).
PROVENANCE: Part of a Francis Bacon work gifted by John Kesterton of the Heffer Gallery in Cambridge to the local artist Lewis Todd to allow him to use the reverse for his own paintings. This was done on the understanding that the canvases were to be cut up before use for his own work. Bacon always painted on the reverse of his canvases, the gift was made so that the impoverished young artist could made good use of them. Bequeathed direct by Todd to the present vendor.
This work was inspected and authenticated by the Authentication Committee of the Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné in November 2012 A copy of the letter signed by Martin Harrison and confirming this attribution is sold with this work "..no doubt as to their authenticity."
This and other authenticated pieces were included in The Bacon Estate sponsored PhD course at Northumbria University in which samples have been analysed. Preliminary results confirm that all pigments and binding medium used are typical of Francis Bacon works of the 1950s and 1960s. h:36 w: 2.40 in.