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About Me:I am a Year 13 student which aspires to be an architect. I am interested in anything I don't yet know, and I mostly write about art, politics , Italian culture and inspirational people, although I will try to write for as many categories possible, just to test myself and get to know more things.
Francis Bacon is one of the most famous 20th century British painters. He is known for his raw graphic style and distorted portraits of people. Margaret Tatcher referred to him as “that man who paints those dreadful paintings”, although one of his worldwide success made one of his work “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” the world’s most expensive painting, sold at an auction for $142,405,000.
Bacon was born to an English family in Dublin, on the 28th October 1909, and had a very troubled childhood. He was forced by his father to leave his home because of the artist’s homosexuality and arrived in London in 1926 with little schooling and an economical help of 3£ per week from his mother. In 1927 he travelled to Dublin and Paris, and in the French capital he visited a Picasso exhibition, which inspired him to be an artist, as he said “While I was in Paris, I saw a Picasso exhibition at the gallery Rosenberg, and at that moment I thought, well, I’ll try to be a painter.”
When he arrived back to London he worked as a furniture and interior designer inspired by the modernist style of Eleen Gray and exhibited his first designs in South Kensington in 1929. The following years he started to share a studio with artists Roy de Maistre and Jean Sheperard,
With the start of the war in 1939, he was released from the military forces due to his asthma, and moved in Hampshire in 1941. When he returned to London he met Lucian Freud. From this period he will emerge and start his proper artistic career.
In the 50’s he lived a period of discrete success. His first solo exhibition had many of his masterpieces such as the work inspired by Velazquez’s “Portrait of Pope Innocent X”. When he travelled to Africa later on, his trips to Egypt and South Africa made his art more crude and animalistic. He also travelled to Italy a few years after and met many other intellectuals, such as writers William Burroghs and Paul Bowls.
He moved back to London permanently in 1962. In 1963 Bacon’s reputation was widely known on a global scale, confirmed by his exhibitions in the Solomon R.Guggenheim Museum in New York and at the Grand Palais in Paris. In this period e fell in love with the petty criminal George Dyer, after he caught him breaking into Bacon’s home.
Dyer featured in many of Bacon’s works during this period, such as “Study for Head of George Dyer”. After a troubled relationship, Dyer died of a drug overdose but this event didn’t stop Bacon from obsessively painting him. Some of his works, such as “Triptych May-June 1973”, which show Dyer lifeless on the floor of a hotel bathroom. This period his life was affected heavily by the suicide of his lover George Dyer, leaving visible marks on the artist’s style.
He died in 1992 due to a cardiac arrest caused by the complications of his chronic asthma, which caused difficulty in breathing and talking.
Bacon revolutionised the traditional style of portraiture of his time by distorting and twisting faces and body parts. Some of his most famous artworks are inspired by old masters, such as Lucian Freud, Pablo Picasso and Diego Velazquez absorbing the main characteristics of such artists and re-interpreted in his own unique way. His art is very introspective, and through the analysis of colour and line, the viewer is able to perceive the emotional discomforts of the artist, and one can therefore see his sensibility, which is expressed by the tone and the poses of the subjects which he depicts. As his arts develops thorugh time, it is visible how his emotional and mental state changes due to events during his lifetime. After the death of his lover George Dyer, his art can be seen to have developed into a darker and generally more depressed style. This can be seen in his later work "The Black Triptychs", where his mental breakground can be visible and his depression lead him to paint portraits of George Dyer for years after his death.
George Bacon is undoubtedly one of the greatest artists in Brtish history, and his troubled emotional and mental state have contributed to the creation of expressive and unique art which will now be rembered not only for its expressiveness, but also for being one of the most expensive and precious in the history of art.
Image credits: http://www.alexalienart.com/Bacon%20News%20Archive.htm