The Visitors' Book: In Francis Bacon's Shadow: The Lives of Richard Chopping and Denis Wirth-Miller.

Turner, Jon Lys.

Picture of The Visitors' Book: In Francis Bacon's Shadow: The Lives of Richard Chopping and Denis Wirth-Miller.
Dicky and Denis were minor players in the British art world from the 1940s onwards, but the main point is that they knew everyone! A fascinating biography full of delicious anecdotes of the couple’s life together intertwined with their relationship with Francis Bacon. It takes us to a time when homosexuality was illegal and the penalty for transgression was high.


SKU: 9781472121677


Denis Wirth-Miller and Dicky Chopping were a couple at the heart of the mid-twentieth century art world, with the visitors' book of the Essex townhouse they shared from 1945 until 2008 painting them as Zeligs of British society. The names recorded inside make up an astonishing supporting cast - from Francis Bacon to Lucian Freud to Randolph Churchill to John Minton. Successful artists, although not household names themselves, writing Dicky and Denis off as just footnotes in history would be a mistake. After Denis's death in 2010, Jon Lys-Turner, one of two executors of the couple's estate, came into possession of an extraordinary archive of letters, works of art and symbolically loaded ephemera the two had collected since they met in the 1930s. It is no exaggeration to state that this archive represents a missing link in British art history - the wealth of new biographical information disclosed about Francis Bacon, for example, is truly staggering. The Visitors' Book is both an extraordinary insight into the minutiae of Dicky and Denis's life together and what it meant to be gay in pre-Wolfenden Britain, as well as a pocket social history of the era and a unique perspective into mid-twentieth century art. With reams of previously unseen material, this is a fascinating and unique opportunity to delve into post-war Britain.

Book Details

Author Turner, Jon Lys.
Format PB
Publisher Little, Brown Book Group
Imprint Constable
Number of Pages 400
Illustrations 2x 8pp b+w and colour plate sections. B+w images integrated throughout.
Publish Date 5/10/2017
Catalogue Jun19
Catalogue book number 57