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Francis Bacon

October 28, 1909 - April 28, 1992


Francis Bacon was a self-taught British painter, best recognized for his geometrically shaped backgrounds and his unsettling portrayal of the human body. Born in Dublin, Ireland to an English family, Bacon would not begin his career as an artist until he was in his late twenties, after seeing Pablo Picasso’s work. Other artists that inspired Bacon were Diego Velázquez, Vincent van Goh, Cimabue, and even poet T.S. Elliot.

Though his paintings were initially not well-received, Bacon first gained artistic recognition with Crucifixion, 1933, which was based in part on Picasso’s The Three Dancers, 1925. He often created series, and did many self-portraits, and portraits of friends. His triptych, Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion 1944, is considered the first of his mature style. When his lover, George Dyer, committed suicide in 1971, Bacon’s art became more concerned with death and time.

Bacon would go on to exhibit in museums such as Musée National d’Art Moderne, and the Museum of Modern Art, and is considered to be one of great twentieth-century artists. His studio was gifted to Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin. The musem reconstructed it, including the dust, and the entire contents can be viewed online.

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