A signed print by Francis Bacon, from the artist’s private collection, is to be auctioned off at Christie’s to raise funds for HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT). ‘Three Studies for A Portrait of John Edwards (Right Panel)’ has been kindly donated by the Estate of Francis Bacon for THT’s annual Lighthouse Gala Auction, taking place on Monday 21st March. Its guide price is £6,000 – £8,000.
The subject of the work is John Edwards, Bacon’s long-term friend and heir, who was gifted the print – one of a small collection of lithographs that Bacon kept at his studio – prior to the artist’s death. It has been donated in acknowledgment of both men’s support of the work of THT during their lifetimes.
Debbie Holmes, Director of Fundraising for Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “Year after year, thanks to the kindness of our supporters, the Lighthouse Gala Auction is able to showcase artworks by some of the UK’s best artists. However, this is the first time we have had a piece by Francis Bacon, and naturally we’re very excited.
“In the mid 80s, THT cared for Bacon and Edwards’ mutual friend, art dealer Robert Fraser, during the final stages of his battle with AIDS. Both men supported THT during their lifetimes. We’re delighted that, 25 years later, the Estate of Francis Bacon is continuing to support the work we do in improving the lives of those with HIV.”
Other British artists represented in the auction include THT patron Tracey Emin, Jack Vettriano, Paul Hosking, Bruce Weber, Antony Gormley, and Hunt Slonem. All lots have been donated free of charge, and all money raised during the sale will go to help people living with and affected by HIV.
In addition to artwork, guests can bid for luxury holidays, designer goods, and a range of ‘money can’t buy’ experiences, including a black cab tour of London with Ken Livingstone and the chance to sing on stage with Bryan Adams. To date, the event has raised over £2 million for Terrence Higgins Trust and is one of the highlights of London’s social calendar.