LONDON (AP) — A portrait by Francis Bacon of his lover and muse is going up for auction, with an estimated price of 30 million pounds ($49 million).
"Portrait of George Dyer Talking" depicts a young Londoner with whom Bacon had a turbulent relationship. It was exhibited at Bacon's first major retrospective show in Paris in 1971. Dyer killed himself just before it opened.
Francis Outred, head of contemporary art at Christie's Europe, said Wednesday that the painting offered "a powerful portrait of arguably one of Bacon's greatest loves." It will be offered by Christie's in London on Feb. 13.
The value of Bacon's work has soared since his death in 1992. In November, a Bacon triptych depicting artist Lucian Freud fetched $142 million, becoming the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.