( dpa )- A painting by British artist Francis Bacon of the suicide of his lover sold for 26.3 million pounds (52 million dollars) at auction house Christie's in London Wednesday, falling just short of setting a new record for the artist. Triptych 1974-1977 is the last in the series that Bacon painted in response to the suicide of his lover George Dyer in 1971. Dyer committed suicide on the eve of the opening of Bacon's last retrospective in Paris, in the hotel room he shared with the artist. The painting sold Wednesday, offered for auction for the first time, shows sequential images of dark, ominous umbrellas and Dyer struggling on a near-deserted beach. Bacon, who was Irish-born and who died in 1992, currently holds the record for an Irish or British work with Study from Innocent X (1962), which sold last May in London for 26.5 million pounds.