Francis Bacon, Pencil on Paper, 64cm*44,5cm, year not indicated.
Francis Bacon is well known for his paintings of popes, as well as portraits of his friends.
His output can be broadly described as sequences or variations on a single motif; beginning with the 1930s Picasso-informed Furies, moving on to the 1940s male heads isolated in rooms or geometric structures, the 1950s screaming popes, and the mid-to-late 1950s animals and lone figures, the 1960s portraits of friends, the nihilistic 1970s self-portraits, and the cooler more technical 1980s late works… Bacon took up painting in his late 30s, having drifted as an interior decorator, bon vivant and gambler. He said that his artistic career was delayed because he spent too long looking for subject matter that could sustain his interest. His breakthrough came with the 1944 triptych Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, which sealed his reputation as a uniquely bleak chronicler of the human condition. From the mid-1960s he mainly produced portraits of friends and drinking companions, either as single or triptych panels. – Wikipedia
This week’s Wednesday Painting is Francis Bacon’s Fragment of a Crucifixion.
Its two distressed figures are at the end of a bloody struggle, with one positioned at the point of kill. The dying animal’s scream forms the centerpiece of the work. Although the painting’s title contains religious connotations, Bacon was an atheist, and there is no hope divinity in the work. – Wikipedia
Some of Francis Bacon‘s most well-known pieces are his paintings of screaming popes. I was lucky enough to see one in Norwich years ago and it was just stunning.
Francis Bacon was one of Britain’s greatest painters, deliberately creating pieces to shock and disgust people. His images often included blood and meat, or at least colours which would remind us of them, as well as bruises and violence.
Living somewhere between decadence and the gutter, Bacon was well-known for having a brutal, less than happy lifestyle; drinking to excess, partaking in violent activities and losing his partner to suicide. Bacon made use of Dyer’s death in his art because this stupendous painter’s only ethos was his belief in painting itself… In his later paintings, Bacon shows people enacting brutalities on one another in a terror that never ends. – The Guardian.
Not being in the same state of mind that Bacon was (and I hope I never will be), I find his pieces very emotional and filled with sadness, sometimes with a hint of euphoria. His paintings take my breath away. It seems that each image is so personal that the viewer doesn’t need to be able to relate to the circumstances. He let us in to his mind and soul far more than any other painter has.
Francis Bacon: final painting found in ‘very private’ collection. This piece instantly became my favourite Bacon painting when it was revealed recently. I had the same feeling looking at this as I had when I listened to David Bowie’s Black Star after he had died. It’s a strange mixture of acceptance, fear and relief.
In contrast to the bleakness of his art, this starry-eyed chronicle shows the painter could be genial, generous and waspishly funny... a brilliant talker whose wit and bons mots still crackle through the language. – a review of Michael Peppiatt’s book Francis Bacon in Your Blood.