Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon, the two giants of post-war British painting, met in 1945. Bacon was 36, Mr Freud not even 23. Mr Freud had heard about the mysterious Irish-born artist from Graham Sutherland. Shortly afterwards, Sutherland invited them both to spend the weekend at his English country house, and they met at the railway station on the way there. An intense bond quickly developed. “Once I met him I saw him a lot,” Mr Freud would recall later.