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Iran loaning Bacon painting for UK exhibition

London, June 2, IRNA-Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art is loaning a painting by Irish artist Francis Bacon to go on display as part of the first exhibition of the painter's portraits at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.

"I am delighted that the Iranian authorities have agreed to lend to Britain this rarely seen early painting by Bacon," said Andrea Rose, director of visual arts at the British Council.

Rose spotted the painting in 2003 when she was in Tehran, when Iran agreed to lend a Bacon triptych work for a British sculpture exhibition at the Tate Britain Gallery in London last year.

The painting, 'Reclining Man with Sculpture', forms the centerpiece of the exhibition of 'Bacon's Portraits and Heads' at the Edinburgh gallery, which opens on Saturday and runs until September 4.

It was reported to have been stored in the vaults of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art for nearly 30 years and will be the first time it will be seen in the West since the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The painting, which depicts a man lying on a sofa with a sculpted head sitting on a coffee table in front, dates back to 1961 and was sold to the wife of the deposed shah of Iran in the 1970s.

Born in Dublin in 1909, Bacon spent most of his life in London until his death in 1998. Further exhibitions of his work are expected to be held in 2009 to mark the centenary of his birth.

... Payvand News - 6/2/05 ... --

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