The Haunting Vision of Francis Bacon’s Final Pope Painting

19 May 2022 | New York

This Spring, Sotheby's is honored to offer Francis Bacon's masterpiece Study of Red Pope 1962, 2nd version 1971 as a highlight of our Contemporary Art Evening Auction. A defining masterpiece and triumphant finale to the artist's highly acclaimed Papal portraits, Study of Red Pope 1962, 2nd version 1971 illustrates a profoundly chilling encounter between Frances Bacon's great muse, the Pope, and his lover, George Dyer. First exhibited at the landmark Francis Bacon retrospective in 1971 at the Grand Palais, a career-defining exhibition for the artist and an accolade only previously afforded to Pablo Picasso among living painters, Study of Red Pope 1962, 2nd version 1971 endures as a testament to Bacon's limitless capacity to provoke the most fundamental of human emotions.

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