A Very Rare Signed Francis Bacon Book

A Very Rare Signed Francis Bacon Book -
£5,500
Enquire Portfolio

A very rare book with an associational inscription by Francis Bacon in near mint condition

Title: Interviews with Francis Bacon' by David Sylvester

In this publication David Sylvester explores the philosophical outlook of Francis

Bacon and engages the artist in a vivid dialogue during which Francis Bacon traces his artistic heritage and articulates what he has set out to achieve in his evocative and disturbing portrayals of the human condition.

Publication details:

Date of publication: 1975

Paperback, 94 illustrations and 128 pages , published by Thames and Hudson

Signed by Francis Bacon

This copy was personally signed by Francis Bacon as a gift to Erica Spender.

On the first page it reads: ' For Erica Spender with all my best wishes Francis Bacon' written in green felt tip pen by Bacon.

Despite in-depth research carried out over several years, we have discovered only two other copies of this title signed by Bacon.

Erica Spender had built an impressive library over the years, which on her death was sold at a two day auction at Bloomsbury Auctions, London but this book was not included in that sale. It was given to our client by Erica Spender as a personal gift.

Erica Spender, was the wife of Michael Spender, the explorer/surveyor, leader in photo-interpretation in the Second World War and a RAF Squadron Leader. He was the elder brother of the famous poet, novelist and essayist, Stephen Spender.

Stephen Spender was a prominent figure in Francis Bacon's circle of close intellectual friends. Erica Spender was first introduced to Francis Bacon by her brother-in-law.

Michael Spender died on 5th May 1945 at the age of 38 as a result of severe injuries he sustained in a plane crash two days before.

After the death of her husband, Erica Spender was forced to seek employment and joined Marlborough Fine Art, in London to run its the Antiquarian Book Department.

At that time Francis Bacon was represented by Marlborough Fine Art. Francis Bacon's work. It was during this period that Erica Spender became a friend of Francis Bacon's. Sharing a commonality of cultural, artistic and philosophical interests.

Biographical Note on Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon (28 October 1909 – 28 April 1992) was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his bold, graphic and emotionally raw artistic creations.

Despite his bleak existentialist outlook impressed in the public mind through his remarkably insightful interviews with David Sylvester, Bacon in person was a bon vivant and openly and unapologetically gay.

A prolific artist, he nonetheless spent many of the evenings of his middle age eating, drinking and gambling in London's Soho with friends such as Lucien Freud, John Deakin, Muriel Belcher , Henrietta Moraes, Daniel Farson and Jeffrey Bernard, notably in Muriel Belcher’s private drinking club, The Colony Room at 41 Dean Street.

After his lover, John Dyer's suicide he largely distanced himself from this circle, and while his social life was still active and his passion for gambling continued, he settled into a platonic relationship with his eventual heir, John Edwards.

During his lifetime, Bacon was equally reviled and acclaimed. Margaret Thatcher, for instance, described him as "that man who paints those dreadful pictures", but he was the subject of three Tate retrospectives and a major showing in 1971 at the Grand Palais in Paris. Since his death, his reputation and the market values of his work have steadily grown.

In the late 1990s a number of major works previously assumed to have been destroyed, including Bacon’s painting of the Popes from the early 1950s and portraits from the 1960s, surfaced on the art market and set record prices at auctions.

On 12 November 2013 his painting ‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud’ set the record as the most expensive piece of art ever auctioned, selling for $142,405,000

27.5 x 20 cms

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Product Code: TAG61225