This Saturday we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of the artist Francis Bacon.
Born in Dublin in 1909, Bacon spent the majority of his life working in London, developing a distinct style of figurative painting that has made him one of the most prominent artists of the 20th century. His work is instantly recognisable for its raw, introspective and captivating depiction of the human condition, focusing frequently on themes such as death, crucifixion and the human form. Acclaimed for his paintings of distorted human figures, he is a true modernist who worked at the interstice between abstraction and figuration. He died on the 28th of April, 1992.
Margaret Thatcher famously described Francis Bacon as “that man who paints those dreadful pictures”. His serial portraits focus on the distorted psychology and the humanity of man, and his iconic portrait Pope Innocent X reworked a famous portrait by Velazquez, in which the religious triptych is subverted to showcase the evils of man over the virtues of Christ.
- “I remember seeing a lump of dog shit on the pavement and thought, ‘Well, there it is, that’s how our life is, unless you make something remarkable of it”
- “I think perhaps the drink helped me to be a bit freer” - On painting Three Studies for a Crucifixion (1962) drunk
- “I believe in deeply ordered chaos” – walls served as paint palettes, floor covered in newspaper + broken glass
- “I have never tried to be horrific” – Francis Bacon in conversation with critic David Sylvester
- “They were horrified at the thought that I might want to be an artist” – Francis Bacon on his parents
To celebrate the life and work of the artist Artfinder has collaborated with The Estate of Francis Bacon to bring his art life.
First up Artfinder has some exclusive Francis Bacon merchandise that was kindly provided by the Estate, which is available to purchase on our Online Shop. Included in this official merchandise are high quality posters featuring some of his most famous paintings, trays, towels and scarves.
These approved posters and gifts are available only through the Estate, and all proceeds go towards supporting their efforts to promote exhibitions, publications, films and research into Bacon’s life and legacy.
Secondly, Artfinder Publishing is preparing to launch its first iBook, Francis Bacon, which is the first ever official digital publication dedicated to the artist. Created in collaboration with The Estate of Francis Bacon, this iBook provides readers with a glimpse into Bacon’s world.
The iBook is available for free for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Here are some of its features:
- 51 illustrations and 2 videos that explore his most important works, techniques, themes and his private studio at 7 Reece Mews, London.
- These works, photographs and historical documents were selected for the publication by the Estate.
- Pinch/zoom allows you to discover every brushstroke has if standing right in front of the paintings
- The accompanying texts – courtesy of the Estate – provide fascinating insight into his practice.
This iBook is an essential guide to an artist whose private world and dark subjects continue to captivate audiences around the world.
As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of Bacon’s death, it’s an ideal time to rediscover the art of one of Britain’s most successful artists.