The scream of the Battleship Potemkin is not enough. A silent mouth is even more terrible because it expresses the impossibility of externalizing an emotion. The pope by Velazquez who is a permanent model of spinelessness is also not suitable : the trivial life of an anonymous human being is even more poignant.
Bacon puts his characters in cages without walls. Like Joseph Garcin in Sartre's Huis Clos, they are locked within their own incompetence. The anonymous man is surrounded by a dark blue space of increasing dimensions in which his small image is reduced to the face and the collar with a tie.
Painted in 1953 and titled Study for a Portrait, a masterpiece of this new style by Bacon, 198 x 137 cm, was sold for £ 18M including premium by Christie's on June 28, 2011.
The Man in Blue series, painted in 1954, has seven opus. It comes in direct continuation to the Study for a portrait. A unique and non-significant businessman expresses various feelings that are a gradual evolution toward despair. Bacon stressed that this series was conceived in the hotel where he often came to rest from his sadomasochistic relationship with Peter Lacy. This hotel guest inhibited in the depth of his blue anguish would also like to have some illicit adventures.
Man in Blue VI, oil on canvas 153 x 117 cm, was sold for £ 5M including premium by Christie's on February 13, 2013.
Man in Blue VII, of same technique and same size, is estimated € 5M for sale by Christie's in Paris on June 8, lot 16. Exhibited in the same year at the Venice Biennale, this artwork is one of those that brought an international recognition to the modernity of Francis Bacon, the most frightening artist of the postwar period.
SOLD for € 6M including premium