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The present work is one in a series of Black Triptychs which Bacon produced after the suicide of his lover, George Dyer. Dyer is portrayed on the left, while Bacon appears on the right and the central work is derived from a photograph of wrestlers by Edward Muybridge, although it may also be interpreted as a sexual encounter. Presented against a black void, Dyer is muscular and strong but at the same time his body is almost melting, falling apart. According to Bacon, his aim was to show “the life flowing out of him”.
Francis Bacon, ‘people say you forget about death, but you don’t. After all, I’ve had a very unfortunate life, because all the people I’ve been really fond of have died. And you don’t stop thinking about them; time doesn’t heal.’