Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon : The Human Body

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Description

Francis Bacon (1909-1992) is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest British artists of this century. For over fifty years the intense emotions conveyed in his works have shocked and enthralled an ever-growing audience. David Sylvester, a leading Bacon scholar, brings together many of the artist's best paintings involving the human figure, the central subject of his work. Bacon's diverse body imagery can be seen in his self-portraits; nude studies; portraits of friends such as Henrietta Moraes, George Dyer, and Lucian Freud; and his series of Popes. Many of Bacon's prototypes were 'found' images: reproductions of Michelangelo, Velasquez, Degas, Muybridge's photographs of the human figure in motion, film stills from Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, magazine photos of politicians and boxers.Bacon disliked working directly from a model and therefore often commissioned photographs, especially from John Deakin. A prolific creator of self-portraits, Bacon painted dozens, mostly small canvases of his head. Usually three are put together to form a triptych; sometimes one appears as a solo canvas or as a unit in a triptych along with other people's heads.
One of the most powerful is a full-length portrait, the Sleeping Figure of 1974, painted from a photograph of him stretched out on a hospital bed. Other paintings portray bodies wracked by violence - a wailing mouth, a cry of despair. Sylvester's observations show how certain images were linked to incidents in Bacon's life, such as childhood fear of his father and his lifelong devotion to his nanny. The catalog includes paintings that date from 1945 to the mid-1980s, including single canvases and triptychs from collections around the world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 120 pages
  • 232 x 260 x 12.7mm | 499g
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • Univ of CA PR ed.
  • 32 color photos and 15 black-and-white photos.
  • 0520215397
  • 9780520215399

About David Sylvester

David Sylvester is a critic and writer and author of Interviews with Francis Bacon. He lives in London.
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Rating details

33 ratings
4.36 out of 5 stars
5 48% (16)
4 42% (14)
3 6% (2)
2 3% (1)
1 0% (0)
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