Studio International

Published 26/07/2001

The death of the author, historian and critic David Sylvester on l9 June, aged 76, has now robbed the world of a leading expert on Francis Bacon — his parents had been Russian-Jewish silver experts and dealers — whilst Rene Magritte as a catalogue Raisonne by Sylvester saw the author catapulted into a world class, although that took a quarter of a century to complete . There were other notable contributions to Giacometti, he became a member of the Commission d’Acquisitions for the Musee Nationale d’Art Moderne, Paris, and he was also a Trustee of the Tate Gallery, London — a somewhat unique ‘double’ — as well as a Trustee of the Henry Moore foundation. Although he first aspired to be a painter, Sylvester was a formidable writer. He made his first inroads to recognition when encouraged by George Orwell, literary editor of Tribune, in l942. Sylvester’s Tate gallery shows were memorable, such as Soutine in l963, Giacometti in l965, and finally Magritte.