Francis Bacon (1909 –1992) was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his raw, unsettling imagery.
His grotesque, ethereal depictions brilliantly reflect the timeless agony of being human; some works exploring the macabre theme of inevitable death, others celebrating love and friendship.
Bacon did not begin to paint until his late twenties, having drifted in the late 1920s and early 1930s as an interior decorator, bon vivant and gambler.
Despite some modest success, Bacon struggled to live from his work. He also grew dissatisfied with his early works, and destroyed most of the paintings from the period.
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, diptych or triptych panels.
Bacon’s canvases communicate powerful emotions – whole tableaux seem to scream, not just the people depicted on them.
This ability to create such powerful statements were foundational for Bacon’s unique achievement in painting.
In 1963, a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York brought international prestige, which continued until his death on April 28, 1992 in Madrid, Spain.
More of Francis Bacon‘s haunting paintings can be found at https://www.francis-bacon.com/.