Pictures at 1957 exhibition in London were still wet and stained attendees’ clothes after they leaned against them There is nothing more dull than watching paint dry, but great art cannot be rushed. Francis Bacon was irritated that his dealer put him under huge pressure to finish paintings inspired by Vincent van Gogh for his London exhibition of 1957, according to a previously unheard recording that has come to light.

It reveals that the artist got his revenge because his pictures were still wet when guests leaned against them at a crowded preview event, ruining their clothes. His dealer had to pay for dry cleaning and replacing a dinner jacket covered in streaks and smudges of red, blue and yellow oil paint.

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