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Bacon met Dyer—in an often repeated but likely fictitious story—when he caught the younger man breaking in through the roof of his flat in a failed burglary. Dyer was then in his early 30s, tall and athletic, and largely uneducated and from an impoverished background—all of which appealed to Bacon's taste for rough trade. There was an immediate connection between the two men, and from the mid-1960s Dyer became Bacon's principal model and muse. However, while Bacon's fame grew and critical attention of the successful portraits of Dyer brought the younger man a degree of fame and notoriety, the focus on Bacon as the star of the art world overshadowed Dyer's neediness, and he inevitably came to see himself as just another associate and hanger-on.