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Francis Bacon (1909-1992)
Francis Bacon was born in Dublin, Ireland to English parents. He was expelled from his family in 1925 when his homosexuality was discovered. Bacon never attended art school. He began work in watercolor about 1926–27 and oils in the fall of 1929. Bacon painted relatively little after his solo show in 1934. He was often disdainful of his work destroyed large number of works throughout his lifetime. Representative of Bacon's methods and subjects are the triptych, the scream, and the lone figure against a stark backgroud.
Pope Innocent
Van Gogh


Lying Figure in Mirror
c. 1971
Oil on canvas, 198.5 x 147.5 cm. Signed and dated on back:1971 / Francis Bacon

More than any other European expressionist artist of his time, in the last half century Francis Bacon aroused the interest and attention of mass media, specialist critics and public alike. An original, somewhat rebellious figure, Bacon belonged to no schools or groups, always remaining loyal to his own preoccupations, needs and experiences, deeply committed to realising his undeniably genuine art.

Bacon was overwhelmingly preoccupied with making painfully distorted representations of the human form, and the energy and virulence of that commitment is at times quite startling. To achieve his aims, he resorted to a private iconography which in many cases owed much to images borrowed from the works of other artists, in film and photography. The pained poses and attitudes of the figures in his paintings convey above all a kind of existential angst, a vital concern for their development within society. “Lying figure in mirror” is no exception.

Reflected in a mirror, and as if what we are seeing were the reflection or the drama of human life itself, lies an organic form with blurred, indecipherable features; the living, anguished silhouette of a being stripped of all the usual identification marks. It is a violent transformation of reality, a scene of suffering in which the colouring plays a part of considerable communicative force. Paradoxically, the colouring is anything but repulsive; quite the opposite, in fact, as it unfailingly grasps the attention of the unprejudiced spectator.  

Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, Spain
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