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Francis Bacon Prints

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Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992) was an Irish-born British painter. As an artist without formal training, Bacon’s portraits are highly sought after. Bacon’s earlier portraits were created by means of having his subject present.

His portraits beginning in the 1960s were developed based off of photographs and focused in on facial features. Bacon only painted those who he knew intimately – Lucian Freud, George Dyer, Henrietta Moreas, Muriel Belcher, and Isabel Rawsthrone to name a few.

While his brilliant portraits evolved from photographs taken by John Deakin, the final result was one that which could be described as phenomenological - the idea that his paintings go beyond the physical attributes of the exterior and exemplify inner truths. Bacon’s portraits could further be understood as influenced from Surrealism and Abstraction, where a duality exists within each painting: between thought and form, life and death. The artist’s energetic brush strokes are contrasted with smudged contours and blurred boundaries as if he is trying to reveal an open form that is trapped within its own subsistence. Bacon removes screens and veils to uncover truths about existence through portraying his subjects against a stark background, which brings the portrait, and even his Studies of the Human Body, to appear to have a floating appearance.

Often, his works are painted within a framing device he employs to isolate the figures, such as in his portrait of Isabel Rawsthrone and his Portrait of George Dyer Staring at Blind Cord, in which he physically paints a frame within the painting. Many of his works, including not only the portraits of his dear friends, but those of himself, are psychological renderings.

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