Create a figure that is reference counted

If you create the figure without using plt.figure, then it should be reference counted as you expect. For example (This is using the non-interactive Agg backend, as well.)

from matplotlib.backends.backend_agg import FigureCanvasAgg as FigureCanvas
from matplotlib.figure import Figure

# The pylab figure manager will be bypassed in this instance.
# This means that `fig` will be garbage collected as you'd expect.
fig = Figure()
canvas = FigureCanvas(fig)
ax = fig.add_subplot(111)

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