Sotheby’s Sale of Contemporary Art to Be Led by a Stunning Work by Francis Bacon


LONDON.- Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 29 June in London will present a selection of works of major significance, including Francis Bacon’s stunning Crouching Nude of 1961. In 1959 the appearance of the first female nudes painted by Francis Bacon must have struck the contemporary art audience as a startling iconographical switch. Between 1959 and 1962 he made twelve further paintings on this theme, among which Crouching Nude, 1961, is one of the most remarkable. Formally, it is the most resolved of this group in terms of the figure/ground relationship, as well as the most sculptural in the plasticity of the figure. The illusion of depth is accentuated by the simplified geometry of the perspectival setting, a confined space with a sloping dais base painted in several shades of the iridescent green that Bacon had essayed as a dominant colour for the grounds of his paintings in St Ives at the end of 1959.1