Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bringing Home the Bacon; Major Work Returns from Exile in Iran

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bringing Home the Bacon; Major Work Returns from Exile in Iran

Article excerpt

Byline: LUKE LEITCH

A LONG-LOST "major" work by Francis Bacon has returned to London after an extraordinary 30 years spent hidden in Iran.

The triptych, entitled Two Figures Lying On A Bed With Attendants, has never been seen publicly in London before today, when it is unveiled at Tate Britain.

The last time it was shown anywhere was at an exhibition in Dusseldorf in 1972. The Bacon, which would fetch over [pounds sterling]5 million at auction, was painted in 1968. Its central panel shows two men naked on a bed, while the side panels show two lone figures.

It was sold in 1975, via a French art dealer to an Iranian art foundation funded by oil revenues and controlled by Farah Pahlavi, the widow of the last Shah of Iran. It was given to the collection of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, although given its slightly risque nature it is thought that it was never exhibited.

In 1979, when the fundamentalist ayatollahs violently ousted the Shah, the painting - along with works by Henry Moore, Renoir, Picasso, Warhol, Dali and Picasso - was seized and placed in storage. …

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