2 Enduring Understanding Students will understand that artworksdo encapsulate the themes ofidentity and relationships in avariety of ways
3 5W1H Francis Bacon When What Where How Why Which 1909 - 1992 Death Distortion ?WhereUKHowPaintingDistortion of FiguresWhyPhotographyPicassoWhichFigurativeexpressionism
4 Essential Questions Overarching Questions What is a portrait? How can relationshipswithin a family orcommunity be shaped?How do artists formidentity and relationshipswith their art?Topical QuestionsWhat is existence?What is emptiness?What is space?How does photographyEngage us with our world?
5 Who 1909: Born in 28 October in Dublin, Ireland. : He started work as an interior designer.1935: He visited Paris and saw for the first of many times the movie Battleship Potemkin.1992: He died at the age of 82 in Spain.
6 When 1914-18: World War I. 1916: Sinn Féin Movement 1925: The release of Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin.1927: Picasso’s exhibition in at the Gallerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris.1927: The release of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.: World War II.
7 Which Figurative Expressionism First influenced by the works of Picasso.Later by Surrealism.His style is expressionistic.He developed a distinctive style as a figure painter.His signature- distorting his human form.Ciment Fondu is cement. Advantages are quick and hard setting.
8 What Subject Matter Human forms His figures are usually distorted beyond recognition.Animal formsCrucifixionThis functions like an armature for him to suspend “all types of emotions and feelings” (Guggenheim). It has come to symbolize universal suffering and individual pain over the years.MeatBacon saw connection between the “brutality of the slaughterhouses and crucifixion” (Guggenheim).Ciment Fondu is cement. Advantages are quick and hard setting.
9 What Theme The inescapable fact of death. To quote him, “ I have a feeling of mortality all the time, because if life excites you, its opposite, like a shadow, death, must excite you.” (Schmied, 2006, p. 7)Existential anxiety of modern man.Human condition and suffering.Ciment Fondu is cement. Advantages are quick and hard setting.
10 His first original work. Crucifixion, 1933Oil on canvas, 62 x 48.5 cmPrivate CollectionHis first original work.
11 Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, 1944 Ciment Fondu is cement. Advantages are quick and hard setting.Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, 1944Oil and pastel on cardboard, 94 x 74 cm eachTate Gallery, London
12 Second Version of Triptych 1944 1988 Oil and acrylic on canvas, 198 x 147.5 cm each Tate Gallery, London
13 WhatCiment Fondu is cement. Advantages are quick and hard setting. Three Studies for a Crucifixion, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 198 x cm eachTate Gallery, London
14 What- Three Studies for Figures… The crucified figure on the right panel is slithering downwards resembling the Christ form from Cimabue’s Crucifixion.His intention with the painting is to evoke emotionally and perceptually.The figure is butchered open, like thecarcass of an animal.This is similarly the fate of all humansthat we know but do not confront.The slabs of meat on the left panelreinforces this.Ciment Fondu is cement. Advantages are quick and hard setting.Crucifixion, c.1270sBy Giovanni CimabueTempera on wood panel
15 Oil and pastel on linen, 197.8 x 132.1 cm Painting, 1946Oil and pastel on linen, x cmMoMA, New York
16 Oil and tempera on wood, 100.3 x 75 cm Head I, 1948Oil and tempera on wood, x 75 cmcollection Richard S. Zeisler, New York
17 Arts Council Collection, Hayward Gallery, London Head VI, 1949Oil on canvas, 93 x 76.5 cmArts Council Collection, Hayward Gallery, London
18 Portrait of Pope Innocent X by Diego VelázquezOil on canvasGalleria Doria-Pamphili, RomeFrancis Bacon’s obsession with Velázquez’s painting generated a total of forty-five works on the Pope. Two recurring trademarks of his “Popes”- gaping mouth and elevation of the figure as if on a stage.
19 Why Influence- Diego Velázquez (16xx - ) A Spanish painter in the court of King Phillip IV.He belonged to the Baroque period.He painted many portraits of the Spanish royal family.He also painted other notable European figures and commoners.He also painted historical and cultural scenes.His most famous work- Les Meninas, (see next slide).
20 Les Meninas Les Meninas, 1656-57 by Diego Velázquez Oil on canvas, 318 x 276 cmMuseo del Prado, Madrid
21 The “Scream” Study after Velázquez, 1950 Oil on canvas, 198 x 137.2 cm Study after Velázquez, 1950Oil on canvas, 198 x cmPrivate CollectionBattleship Potemkin has influencemany artists and film-makers.Study for the Head of a Screaming Pope , 1952Oil on canvas, 50 x 40.5 cmYale University, New Haven
22 Why His Influence- Edvard Munch (1863 – 1944) A Norwegian Symbolist painter and printmaker.A forerunner in Expressionistic art.His exploration revolves around the theme of life, love, fear and death, as well as melancholy.Symbolism- late 19th century art movement.Attempts to depict the symbols of ideas and emotions- often ambiguous and mysterious rather then precise and forthcoming.
23 The ScreamThe Scream, 1893Oil tempera and pastel on cardboard, 48 x 44 cmby Edvard MunchNational Gallery, Oslo, Norway
24 Inspired by van Gogh… Untitled (Landscape after Van Gogh), 1957 Study for a Portrait of Van Gogh V, 1957oil and sand on canvas, 198 x 142 cm Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture GardenSmithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.Study for Portrait of Van Gogh VI, 1957oil on canvas, x cm London, Arts Council collection and Hayward GalleryUntitled (Landscape after Van Gogh), 1957oil on canvas, 127 x cm
25 Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890 ) The Painter on His Way to Work, 1888 by Vincent van GoghOil on canvas, 48 x 44 cmDestroyed by fire in WWII.
26 Study for Self Portrait Study for Self Portrait, 1976 Oil and pastel on canvas,198 x cmArt Gallery of New South Wales“When I’m dead, put me in a plastic bag and throw me in the gutter.”(Schmied, 2006, p.8)
27 Landscape near Malabata, 1963 In Memory of Peter LacyLandscape near Malabata, 1963oil on canvas, x cmPrivate CollectionPeter Lacy was one of his lovers who committed suicide. He died the night before the opening day of his major exhibition at Tate Gallery. Malabata, Tangier is the final resting place of Lacy.
28 In Memory of George Dryer In Memory of Geroge Dryer, 1971
29 The “March”? Still from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis Still from Fritz Lang’s MetropolisUntitled (Marching Figures), c. 1950Oil on canvas, 198 x 137cmThe Estate of Francis Bacon
30 Metropolis A German Science-fiction silent movie by Fritz Lang. It is set in an urban dystopia (the opposite of utopia).It explores the social issues of capitalism.The theme and cinematic style relates to German Expressionism.
31 On Animals Study of a Baboon, 195. Oil on canvas, 198 x 137cm MoMA, New YorkStudy for Chimpanzee, 1957Oil and pastel on canvas, x 117cmPeggy Guggenheim Collection
32 MUMOK, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien Man in Blue IVMan in Blue IV, 1954Oil on canvas, 198 x 137 cmMUMOK, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig WienThis is one of the seven paintings in a series, titled Man in Blue I – VII.A treatment that is the most reductive.
33 Lying Figure in the Mirror* Lying Figure in Mirror, 1971oil on canvas, 198 x cm Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao,
34 Mirrors or Windows? Two Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer, 1968 oil on canvas, x cm Art Museum Ateneum, collection Sara Hildén, HelsinkiStudy for a Nude with Figure in a Mirror, 1969oil on canvas, 198 x cm private collection
35 oil and pastel on canvas, 198 x 147.5 cm LandscapeLandscape, 1978oil and pastel on canvas, 198 x cmPrivate Collection
36 Ivor Braka Ltd (London) A Piece of Waste LandA Piece of Waste Land, 1982oil on canvas, 198 x cmIvor Braka Ltd (London)
37 Why Inside Influence- His Background His family shifted between England and Ireland in his early life- affected him with a sense of displacement throughout his life.His grandmother’s house near Abbeyleix- bow-ended rooms (see slides ).He was a shy child whose effeminacy enraged his father- their relationship was thus estranged.His father was also known to be argumentative and quarrelsome.He suffered from chronic asthma since young.His sexual orientation- homosexual.
38 Why Inside Influence- His Background He worked as an interior designer.He volunteered in Civil Defence during World War II. His duties- fire-fighting, civilian rescue and recovery of the dead.His trip to Africa where his mother and sisters emigrated to.Bacon led a bohemian life- of alcohol, gambling and a string of intimate and anguished relationships, some were even self-destructive.
39 Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards oil on canvas, 198 x cm (each) private collection
40 Spot the pattern… Study for Portrait of Lucian Freud (Sideways), 1971 Oil on canvas, 198 x cmPrivate CollectionFigure in Movement, 1976oil on canvas, 198 x cm private collectionSelf-Portrait, 1973oil on canvas, 198 x cm private collection
41 Studies of the Human Body –Triptych, 1970 Interior DesignStudies of the Human Body –Triptych, 1970The Centre PieceStudy for Portrait, 1970
42 Why Outside Influences Nicolas Poussin’s Massacre of the Innocents- great impact on him (see slides 45 & 48).He visited Picasso’s exhibition in 1927 at the Gallerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris.The poems of T.S. Elliot and his play The Family Reunion.The Oresteia- Greek trilogy written by Aeschylus, especially W.B. Stanford’s translation. It is about the bloody chain of murder and revenge within a royal family. The underworld mythical agents known as Furies inspired Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion.Photography is a salient influenceEadweard Muybridge (see slides 50 & 51).
43 Why Outside Influence- Nicolas Poussin (1594 – 1665) A classical artist of 17th century France.At 18, he left Normandy for Paris where he developed a love for the works of classical antiquity.He arrived in Rome, Italy in 1624 and lived the rest of his life there.His subject matter- mythologies, landscapes and biblical scenes.His works eventually formed the basis of Academic painting in France for the next two centuries.
44 Massacre of the Innocents Massacre of the Innocents, cby Nicolas PoussinOil on canvas, 147 x 171 cmChâteau de Chantilly (Musée Condé)The screaming mother trying to protect her infant- “probably the best human cry ever painted.”
45 More works on the incident… The Holy Innocents,by Giotto di Bondone (c )Fresco, South WallScrovegni (also Arena) Chapel, Padua Italy
46 WhatAn incident that appears in the Gospel of Matthew (one of the scriptures of the New Testament).It refers to the infanticide by Herod the Great (a Roman client king of Judaea).Herod ordered the execution of all young male children in Bethlehem, to counter-defend his throne from the prophesized “new king of the Jews”.
47 Photography Photography as a phenomenon. His studio was strewn with photographs- pinned on the walls, on the floor, piled along with empty tubes of paint.Photography as a means to study the real world, closely and then capture reality with greater intensity.As a result, it became an instrument for him to distort reality rather than reproducing photo in detail with precise accuracy like the Pop artists, or embarking on a journey that focus on the “essence” of things like the abstract artists.One captivating quality of photography for Bacon is its ability to capture and depict movement.John Deakin’s portraits of other close friends like Lucian Freud and others.
48 Influenced by Eadweard Muybridge Dog,1952Oil on canvas, 198 x 137 cmTate Gallery, LondonMan with Dog,1953Oil on canvas, x cmThe Albright-Knox Gallery, New YorkMuybridge’s Animals in Motion
49 His Nudes Untitled (Two Figures in the Grass, c. 1952 Oil on canvas, x cmThe Estate of Francis BaconThe human figure in motionby Muybridge.Two Figures, 1953Oil on canvas, x cmPrivate Collection
50 20th Century- An Age of Violence Technological progress.The horrors of human nature.Modern-day problems- television sets, hypodermic syringes
51 HowHe painted on unprimed side of the canvas. He discovered that this held the paint with “more bite”, texture ended up enhanced and allowed the thinner to soak into the canvas.He liked to present his works in diptychs or triptychs which are traditional forms of religious paintings for the purpose of disjoining the narrative.He worked with easels despite the changing time.
52 HowHe distorted his figures, influenced by the biomorphs of Picasso’s works.The human flesh is depicted as nothing but meat.His background depicts some interior setting.He provided viewers in his works a tremendous experience of space- the use of mirrors/windows, indeterminate space, shadows and ambiguity.
53 ResourcesSchmied, W. (2006) Francis Bacon, Commitment and Conflict. Prestel Verlaq: Munich.