Online-only - Christie’s is delighted to present the online-only sale of Francis Bacon: The Complete Prints for the first time at auction on Tuesday, 22 October 2013. This collection of Bacon’s entire graphic oeuvre includes variations on some of his most famous subjects and themes, including Study for a Bullfight (estimate: £40,000-60,000, illustrated above), Three Studies for a Self-Portrait (estimate: £18,000-25,000, illustrated second page below) and Study for Portrait of Pope Innocent X after Velasquez (estimate: £15,000 – 25,000). The unique sale comprises 36 lots, with estimates ranging from £2,000 to £60,000, providing an excellent opportunity for first-time buyers to acquire works by one of the greatest and most controversial artists of the 20th century. The sale will be open for bidding for two weeks, starting on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 at 3pm GMT (10:00am EST) and closing on Tuesday, 5 November 2013 at 3pm GMT (10:00am EST).

Lucia Tro Santafe, Specialist, Prints Department, Christie’s London, commented: “Never before has such a complete survey of Francis Bacon’s printed works been offered at auction. We are particularly excited to offer this collection in an online-only sale, giving new and established collectors around the world the opportunity to explore and buy these powerful prints over a two week period."

The collection was formed in the 1970s and 1980s by a private collector, who had personal access to Bacon’s publishers and usually purchased the prints directly from them at the time of issue.

In his printed works, Francis Bacon further explored and developed the subjects of his paintings, thereby creating a second body of work which reflects his life-long obsessions and themes. The motifs range from intimate, searching portraits of himself and his friends, such as the American wildlife photographer and writer Peter Beard (estimate: £8,000-12,000, illustrated below left), to interpretations of historic figures, such as Pope Innocent X or William Blake in Study of Portrait after the Life Mask of William Blake (estimate: £8,000 – 12,000, illustrated below right), to anonymous figure studies such as Lying figure (estimate: £6,000 – 8,000, illustrated below centre), where the sitter becomes unrecognisable and the depiction of the human body verges on the abstract. 

It is these distorted, seemingly mutilated figures, often isolated on a single panel of a triptych, which are Bacon’s unique contribution to the art of the 20th century.  Francis Bacon: The Complete Prints offers international collectors a great opportunity to acquire some of these powerful images.

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