As he approaches his fiftieth birthday, Bacon begins to take stock of his career; though he has met with some success, he is still frequently in debt, mainly due to gambling losses.
In October 1958, he suddenly leaves the Hanover Gallery and moves to the Marlborough Fine Art. Its founders Frank Lloyd and Harry Fischer, joined by David Somerset in 1947, have promised to build up his international profile. This they do, and Bacon’s first major retrospective, which Marlborough has helped to secure, is held at the Tate Gallery in May 1962. In the 1960s, Henry Moore, Frank Auerbach, Lucian Freud and Graham Sutherland are represented by the gallery. Bacon esteems Frank Lloyd not only for his proven business genius but for his ‘eye’. Bacon concedes “he knows right away whether a painting has quality or not’’. Gilbert Lloyd, Frank Lloyd’s son, joins the gallery in 1962 and assumes control of Marlborough Fine Art in London from 1972. Bacon continues to be represented by Marlborough until the end of his life.