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Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his raw, emotionally charged imagery.

 

He produced series of images of popes, crucifixions and portraits of close friends, with abstracted figures sometimes isolated in geometrical cages, set against flat, nondescript backgrounds.

 

Bacon said that he saw images "in series", and his work, which numbers c. 590 extant paintings along with many others he destroyed, typically focuses on a single subject for sustained periods, often in triptych or diptych formats. His output can be broadly described as sequences or variations on single motifs; including the 1930s Picasso-influenced bio-morphs and Furies, the 1940s male heads isolated in rooms or geometric structures, the 1950s screaming popes, the mid-to-late 1950s animals and lone figures, the early 1960s crucifixions, the mid-to-late 1960s portraits of friends, the 1970s self-portraits, and the cooler, more technical 1980s paintings.


Bacon did not take up painting until his late twenties, having drifted in the late 1920s and early 1930s as an interior decorator, bon vivant and gambler.