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John Deakin
Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane Dublin, Ireland

John Deakin, black and white photograph of George Dyer (verso, annotated by Bacon)

Bacon frequently made handwritten notes to secure his initial ideas. He used any surface that was available, from the endpapers of books, envelopes and postcards, to random scraps of paper. In his characteristic, spidery handwriting and disregarding spelling and punctuation, he recorded ideas for colours, motifs or the programme of a triptych. Bacon often dated his notes so that it is possible to relate his thoughts to his work at the time. Self-Portrait, 1978, CR78-12, may have been anticipated in a note from ‘08 March 1978’, which Bacon wrote on the back of a photograph of George Dyer by John Deakin:  

‘Man on Rail sitting on chair


Make 3 in different position with Mirror


Think of Figures in cage

Thinking of [crossed out] looking at its shadow’