Bacon first met the American artist, photographer, diarist and writer, Peter Beard (born 1938) at the Clermont Club in London in 1965. The occasion was the launch of Beard’s book on wildlife in Africa, The End of the Game, which documented the massive die-off of over 35,000 elephants in Tsavo National Park from the destructive impact of overcrowding, a theme Beard revisits often in his artistic work. Beard’s images impressed Bacon who particularly admired his aerial photographs of dead elephants. They became friends and Bacon painted nine major portraits of Beard. From their first meeting in 1965, Bacon and Beard appear to have developed a close friendship. Peter Beard lives in New York.