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Published by The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, 1963 All Rights Reserved Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: 63-21154 

Printed in The Netherlands 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is honored to present the first American 
Museum retrospective exhibition by the distinguished British painter Francis Bacon. 
The Museum, thereby implements its stated policy to exhibit modern art of exceptional 
quality and significance regardless of national origins or stylistic categories. 

That we should be joined in this endeavor by one of the great museums in this 
country. The Art Institute of Chicago, is a source of particular gratification and 
sets a fruitful precedent for similar collaborative ventures in the future. 

Harry F. Guggenheim. President, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation 

















Senior Vice President 

Vice President 

Vice President 

Vice President 


Director of Administration 

Director of Fine Arts 

Assistant Secretary 
















Honorary President 
Honorary Vice President 



Mayor of the City of Chicago 
Comptroller of the City of Chicago 
President, Chicago Park District 
Treasurer, Chicago Park District 

Francis Bacon, through his imagery, refers to the Gospel and to Van Gogh ; to Popes and to 
businessmen; to male and female nudes; to dogs and apes. The underlying, ever-recurring 
theme, is the figure (saintly, human or animal, with a degree of interchangeability) shown in 
an environment that is natural or man-made. Bacon thus is intelligible and his scene, blurred 
and veiled though it may be, remains recognizable. His painting — figurative in the ordinary 
sense of this term — is nevertheless unlikely to satisfy those who yearn for a return to old- 
time art, to a back-swing of the pendulum from abstraction to a naturalistic mode. 

Why should this be so? Chiefly, we believe, because Francis Bacon is so demanding and so 
incapable of fulfilling the hope for a comfortable art. With him, there is no release from 
tension, no lessening of the viewer's commitment. He is quite unable to afford such simple 
pleasures as constitute to many beholders the obvious function of art. Instead Bacon strains 
our viewing capacity to the utmost. Recognizability notwithstanding, he is more difficult to 
"understand" than many abstract painters. 

To approach the essence of Bacon's work, we must come to terms, intellectually or intuitively, 
with any number of complex thoughts of which a few may be summarized as follows: 

The relation of Bacon's images to his formal pursuits. This involves 
the subtle interplay between the artist's seemingly haphazard choice of 
subject matter and of the stylistic means through which he brings 
it to life. 

A consideration of Bacon's probing disposition which instinctively 
reaches for images and for analogous pictorial means that touch upon 
essentials. He thereby forces us into questioning confrontations with 
basic attitudes, prejudices, and taboos and by so doing necessarily hurts 
us before affording such relief as comes from widened understanding. 

An understanding of the meaning of ugliness in art and the realization 
that horror can be sublimated through formal perfection into the most 
satisfying of harmonies. 

A consideration of pictorial space and its relation to our prevailing 
world view. For Bacon gives us a graphic extension of known reality, 
thereby leading us to rethink our placement as individuals in the world 
of our understanding. 

These and other issues are forced upon us by Bacon's relentless art. Since, once confronted, 
we cannot turn away, his propositions are most uncomfortable. The great reward held out 
to us is that through the comprehension of Francis Bacon's blurred vision, we shall see 
ourselves with greater clarity. 

The Francis Bacon exhibition and the accompanving catalogue were prepared by Mr. 
Lawrence Alloway, Curator of this Museum, for presentation at The Solomon R. Guggenheinq 
Museum in New York and The Art Institute of Chicago. 

Thomas M. Messer, Director, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 


/ am grateful to Ronald Alley for his abundant contribution to the bibliography, 
to David Sylvester for making available documentary material, to James Thrall 
Soby and Sam Hunter for the kind loan of photographs, and to Richard Tooke of 
The Museum of Modem Art and Donna Topazia Alliata for assistance in obtain- 
ing photographs. 

I leant to thank the following members of the Museum's staff: Carol Fuerstein, 
editor of the catalogue and, with Maurice Tuchman, compiler of the bibliography; 
Alice Hildreth who worked closely on the exhibition since its inception. 

The Marlborough Fine Art Ltd. kindly obtained loans from European collections 
and, in particular, Mr. H. R. Fischer was resourceful and helpful. 

My thanks are due to the folloidng for the contribution of color plates to the 
catalogue: Ted Weiner, Fort Worth: The Joseph H. Hirshhom Foundation, _Yeic 
York; The Art Institute of Chicago; Marlborough Fine .Art Ltd., London; and for 
the loan of existing color plates, Museo Civico di Torino and the Marlborough 

Fine Art Ltd., London. 

Lawrence Alloway, Curator, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 


Julian J. and Joachim Jean Aberbach, New York 

The Abrams Family Collection, New York 

Dr. J. Dewey Bisgard, Omaha 

Miss Erica Brausen. London 

Mr. and Mrs. William A. M. Burden, New York 

Lady Caroline Citkowitz, New York 

Mr. and Mrs. Harry C. Cooper, Los Angeles 

Anthony Denney, London 

Nicolo Dona Dalle Rose. Milan 

Geoffrey Gates, New York 

Mrs. Helen Grigg, Biot, France 

Franklin Konigsberg. New York 

Corrado Levi. Turin 

Mrs. Torquil Norman, London 

William S. Paley, New York 

Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Sainsbury, London 

James Thrall Soby, New Canaan. Connecticut 

Urvater Collection, Belgium 

Ted Weiner, Forth Worth 

The Aberdeen Art Gallery, Scotland 

Bagshaw Art Gallery, Batley, England 

Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland 

Birmingham City Art Gallery, Birmingham. England 

Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Buffalo 

The Art Institute of Chicago. Harriott A. Fox Fund 

The Detroit Institute of Arts 

City Art Gallery. Leeds, England 

Arts Council of Great Britain, London 

The Tate Gallery, London 

Stadtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim 

The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation. New York 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York 

Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart 

The Phillips Collection. Washington. D.C. 

Kasmin. Ltd., London 
Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London 
Galleria Galatea, Turin 



A great deal of Bacon criticism has been devoted to a single aspect of his imagery. 
Because there are Popes that scream or solitary figures in hotel bedrooms, they have been 
identified as allegorical personifications of Melancholy or Dejection. The paintings have 
been treated as cultural symptoms, mirrors held up to an age in pieces, generalized moral 
lessons, rather than as individual expressions. The result is that Bacon, as an artist, has been 
dissolved, or inflated, into a cultural barometer. The writers who are responsible for this all 
see the present time in negative terms, so that Bacon becomes the laureate of Buchenwald, 
the Goya of the Early Space Age. Criticism of this kind makes for rather lively reading — far 
more exciting and emotional than art critics can usually manage to be. Metaphors of night- 
mare, breakdown, and crisis abound. Literary parallels are constantly invoked, such as Kafka, 
Beckett, Joyce (the sermon in A Portrait of the Artist as a young Man), and George Orwell 
(1984). Such writing derives from the original historical dramas of cultural historians who 
use works of art to embody moments of crisis, paths of decline, or crossroads of transition in 
culture. In their hands, the method is, at least, based on a thorough historical knowledge: 
time provides a perspective for their judgments. To write about a contemporary artist in 
this way, however, assumes a comprehensive grasp of our culture, which, while we live in it, 
as participants, we may not have. The meaning of our culture is incomplete until the future 
confers it. Thus, the reading of Bacon as the drama of a culture in crisis tends to be incon- 
clusive as well as indulgent. There is, also, the awkward fact that if works of art are treated 
as signals of the state of culture, all art is significant in this way, and not simply the work of 
violent artists. Chardin, Vuillard, and Morandi must also be significant, and not only Goya, 
Picasso, and Bacon. 


Though one objects to reading Bacon's art in terms of a melodrama of the human 
condition, this does not mean he should be considered a detached and esthetic artist. On the 
contrary, he is an inveterate enemy of the idea of the dehumanization of art. to use Ortega's 
phrase for a widely held approach to art in the 19th and 20th centuries. A concise statement 
of this position is Cocteau's witticism in the dedication of Orphee: ''A painter mav throw 
himself from the fifth storey, and the art-lover would onlv sav: 'That makes a prettv splash'."^ 
The assumption is that human meaning is of negligible value compared to strictlv held formal 
values. Bacon, however, has alwavs put conspicuous human meanings in the foreground. In 
fact, it has been his strateg}' to conceal his formal concerns behind the spectacle of human 
action. \^ hen he blurs a face, it could be a wound, as well as a painterlv decision; when he 
compresses a form, it is as much like an injurv as an exercise in foreshortening. He makes 
formal meanings resemble painful human experiences. The marks of painting, including 
conspicuous signs of improvisation, become images of the movements of his figures or of 
their suffering. 

It is, perhaps, time to try to write about Bacon as a painter, rather than as an 
allegorist of Angst, and about his works as paintings, rather than as documents of a 20th 
century problem, predicament, crisis, or what have you. Central to Bacons art is a dual 
time-sense. He has. it is true, an acute sense of topical images, rendered with immediacv, 
but he is also persistently aware of the past and its models. He has, for instance, paraphrased 
repeatedly Velasquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X ( Doria Gallery I . In the Van Gogh series 
he not only alluded to Van Gogh's The Road to Tarascon, but also, in the first Study for 
Portrait of Van Gogh, to Manet's Execution of the Emperor Maximilian (Boston Museum 
of Fine Arts).- Hence, a buried, and thoroughly unexpected, connection is established be- 
tween an image of Van Gogh, surelv linked with our idea of a victim, and the figure of the 
sergeant of the firing squad on the right-hand side of Manet s sketch. In the fifth Study for 
Portrait of Van Gogh, the painter appears in a strong Art Xouveau style, as if painted by 
Munch. In the recent Three Studies for a Crucifixion, the corpse in the central panel is 
reminiscent of the bullet-pierced flesh of the corpses in Goya's Execution of May 3. 1808. 
There is, of course, a link between Goya's and Manet"s firing-squad paintings. Persistent. 
though buried, connections of this kind are contained in Bacon s art. linking it with the 
tradition of painting, though on his own terms. 


Van Gogh, The Artist on the Road to Tarascon. August, 1888. Oil on canvas, 21^^ x 26". Destroyed. 

Bacon's concern with tradition should not be translated immediately into the re- 
ceived picture of an individual in agreement with his inheritance. Tradition for him is not 
a snowball which he slightly enlarges by rolling it a little further on an established track. The 
past to Bacon is not a gallery of coherent prototypes which he modifies but whose dominance 
he does not question (the approach to tradition recommended by early 20th century classicists 
and conservatives) . Tradition to Bacon seems to be a shifting bundle of models and influences 
in a problematic relationship with recent experiences. The records of the past are available 
in underground and personal ways: consider the irony and paradox involved in the Manet 
quotation or in the stylistic reference to, as it were, an unpainted portrait by Munch. 

Bacon's allusions to Velasquez's Pope Innocent X are well-known. There is, how- 
ever, another work which could only be known to Bacon in the form of a reproduction, a 

iiiiwi -II jmcs^ 

Manet, Sketch, Execution oi Maximilian. 1867. Oil on canvas, 77 x 93". .Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 

Goya, Execution of May 3, 1808 (detail). 1814. Oil on canvas, 105 x 120". Museo Nacional del Prado, .Madrid. 


remarkable painting by Titian in the John G. Johnson Collection, Philadelphia. It represents 
a sitter, Cardinal Filippo Archinto, in a pose that anticipates the Velasquez, but with a 
transparent curtain hanging over half the painting. The face fades, the right eye is divided, 
and the hands are smeared through the material. This bizarre work seems to be one of the 
formative factors in Bacon's Study After Velasquez, 1953, in which the face is partially 
obscured by vertical folds of material. It is the history of art, as it contains curiosities and 
puzzles, as well as masterpieces, as a record of human action, rather than as a pure fountain- 
head, which absorbs Bacon. 

Of greater consequence, probably, than the presence of individual quotations from 
other artists, is the general reminiscence, in his work, of the Grand Manner. By Grand Man- 
ner, I mean the central tradition of European figure painting as it developed in the Renais- 
sance and as it dominated all subsequent figure painting until the 20th century. Bacon's 
paintings preserve numerous allusions to the Grand Manner. The size of the canvas, the 
placing of the figures within it, the gestures and poses of the figures depicted — all reveal an 
underlying structure of the Grand Manner format that has been thoroughly assimilated into 
a direct and natural way of working. These echoes of the past are not academic simulacra of 
past models; on the other hand, their persistence in Bacon's art differentiates him from 

(left) Velasquez, Portrait of Pope Innocent X. 1650. Oil on canvas, 55% x 47%". Galleria Doria Pamphili, Rome. 

(center) Titian, Portrait of Cardinal Filippo Archinto. Oil on canvas, 46 x 36". John G. Johnson Collection, Philadelphia. 

(right) Bacon, Study after Velasquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X. 1953. Oil on canvas, 60Vs x 46V2". Collection Mr. and Mrs. William .4. M. Burden, New York. 


abstract painters. In fact, even as the past is evoked by the structure of the paintings, it is 
questioned and undermined. A grand compositional display becomes a keyhole to intimacy. 
Within the format of the Grand Manner, human, spatial, and painterly cues are charged 
with fresh meanings. Within an heroic contour, for instance, a figure will be painted in an 
elliptical or perfunctory manner. Instead of the spatial coherence of the Grand Manner, 
figures fade against a black void, or are pressed forward by a flat color plane. 

To Bacon, the Grand Manner is indispensable, as a frame against which to work, 
eroding and subverting it, but not removing it. He needs both the symbol of order, of which 
the Grand Manner provides an ample and long-lived example, and its opposite, intimate and 
unanticipated images. The two elements interlock, one giving body, one giving mystery, to 
the other. In this respect. Bacon can be compared to both Giacometti and de Kooning, but 
not to Dubuffet (whose human figures are flat and primitivistic) . Giacometti's sitters are 
withered paraphrases of Baroque portraiture, with the tall grey studio behind them as the 
surrogate of column and curtain. De Kooning's Women preserved, through all the s%veat and 
fruitiness of their paint, a basic seated pose, seen early in his 1938 Queen of Hearts, which 
derives from Renaissance originals. The interplay of flesh and dilapidation in de Kooning 
rests on a Grand Manner infra-structure. The point is that all three painters, unlike Dubuffet, 
are poii-Raphaelite painters, with no desire to simplify, to strip off history and sophistica- 
tion : they only want to make their own uses of it. 

This act of preserving, knowingly, a form, while transforming it partially, produces 
an art which is highly ambiguous, to use a word that is continually employed in 20th cen- 
tury criticism. Surrealist images, which conflate different objects or classes of objects, are 
so-called, although, in fact, the effect is of a puzzle rather than of ambiguity. In the works 
of Bacon, Giacometti, and de Kooning (the Women, not the abstract paintings), it is the 
structure of the work itself which is ambiguous. It is partly the continuation of a past tradi- 
tion in a confident and still viable form. It is, also, the reduction of the forms of this tradition 
to act as a container for an unexpected content, sometimes a disreputable one. The Grand 
Manner becomes, at times. Grand Guignol. Instead of being the paradigm of order, the 
format of the Grand Manner becomes merely a corral for wild beasts, freshly trapped. It is 
essential for Bacon to preserve a given and canonical form, against which he can work. His 
paint creates the form but, simultaneously, withholds its complete definition. The traditional 
composition and its heroic occupants are both raised and perpetuated, but, at the same time, 
they are parodied and damaged. 

The use of orderly form, without confidence in its absoluteness, and the insertion of 
disturbing subjects into a pre-existing form, has analogies with Baudelaire. The regular 
stanzas and the classic structure of the line in his poetry divulged subjects and emotions 
foreign to the decorum usually associated with his structure. Similarly in Bacon, the appa- 
ratus of the Grand Manner supports a drastically changed iconography. In two early paint- 
ings by Bacon, for example, an umbrella is used; in both, the umbrella shields a figure 
.whose head appears to have been sheared through, cutting the top of the skull off. The 


incongruity of the umbrella, in scenes of such violence, should not block our memory of the 
fact that umbrellas were used, with fair frequency, in Baroque art, to protect the sitters of, 
for instance. Van Dyck and Le Brun. A covert and bizarre art historical reminiscence is set 
up, adding resonance to the shocking image. 

Bacon's nudes, often derived from motion studies of late 19th century males by 
Eadweard Muybridge, evoke the Grand Manner unmistakably. As the muscles rise, memories 
of Michelangelo and his followers are strong. Bacon's figures, of men exercising singly or in 
pairs, link with the modern tendency to take nudity in art literally. Looking at the 16th 
century's heroic nudes it is hard for us to separate the painted or carved figures from human 
anatomy. A potential of human reality within the ideal figures has been released, often at 
the expense of the symbolism originally identified with Mars or Vulcan or athletes (their 
physical well-being a code for virtue). Separated from iconography, Michelangelo's nudes 
are swung into a new context; his athletes take on the attributes of muscle-eroticism rather 
than Neo-Platonism. The tradition of Michelangelo's homosexuality is related, now, to the 
Sistine vault, which appears to us as though covered by gymnasts. Similarly, the males that 
Bacon paints imply a homosexual content. It is not a matter of recovering, after bourgeois 
suppression, the socially-sanctioned and culturally normal homosexuality of, say, a Greek 
poet. On the contrary, Bacon asserts the presence of latent homosexual meanings within 
the tableaux of the Grand Manner. As in Baudelaire the traditional theme changes within 
the known form, like fruit rotting in a bowl without outward change, or like a house adapted 
internally for different generations of inhabitants, but preserving an ancient fagade. 

One of the ways in which Bacon relates to the Grand Manner involves a special 
definition of man and space. In the Renaissance, the human body was defined as a solid, sub- 
ject to physical laws, set in measurable space. The movements of the body in this space were 
highly adaptive and competent; able to fight, build, and love, good at selective tasks. Bacon 
is sensitive to this definition of space as the area that an individual can move in or reach. 
He abandons the objective ground plane of the Renaissance and organizes space around his 
human figures, outwards from the active agent. Bacon has used thrones, couches, cages, 
beds, canopies, booths, and the Cross to define the area of human movement. The recurring 
image is of a human being pinned to an intimate area of use. Our experience of what is 
close is different from our experience of what is distant, and Bacon (despite occasional land- 
scapes) is basically a painter of near forms. His human image is persistently conceived in 
relation to intimate, touchable, reached areas of the world. The cradle within which the 
child is set, the bed on which we spend so much of our lives ; the table at which I am writing, 
or a telephone booth; a chair, or a Cross to which One has been nailed. The space beyond 
these islands of man's use is amorphous or inaccessible. 

The spectator's relation to Bacon's pictorial space is highly participative. The figures, 
on or in their residual Renaissance structures, seem to be trespassed upon, rather than coop- 
eratively posing for the artist. Or the artist himself (who becomes subjectively identified 
with the spectator) seems engaged in the acts of his figures. Curtains drop, heads loom in 


Photographs from Eadweard Muybridge's "The Human Figure in Motion," London, Chapman and Hall, 1901. 

-^A'.^'-'^- ^,rijiS^^*™* 



close-up, bodies are cut off by the frame, so that we feel a constant sense of privacy invaded 
and of personal involvement. Erwin Panofsky has pointed out that typical Renaissance 
treatises on perspective "devote much time and space to the construction of regular and semi- 
regular solids, of architectural features and of scenery," whereas it was difficult "to cope with 
the human body because of its utter irregularity. "^ This is the point at which Bacon's interest 
in the human body starts. To quote Panofsky again: the "variety of human movements" 
was rarely depicted as "the result of a continuous transition from one state to another.""* 
In fact. Bacon has made this theme his own, with his studies of transitional human move- 
ments flickering through the wrecked Grand Manner. 

The use of elaborate presentational devices by Bacon is not immune to our special 
self-consciousness in the 20th century. We have become sceptically aware of the process of 
communication itself, recognizing the rhetorical functions of dress and gesture, and of the 
technical means themselves. The events of present history may be staged, because the partici- 
pants know that they occupy a goldfish bowl. Thus, Bacon often turns the painting, self- 
consciously, into a tableau, a demonstration, a display. The fact of his frankness about the 
mechanics involved does not stop them from working. On the contrary, his knowledge links 
with the visual sophistication of the 20th century audience. In fact, the theme of death, 
which is constant in his work, occurs within the prepared scene. Some of his images of mor- 
tality recall the verisimilitude of death and decay presented in natural history museums in 
Europe. For instance, in the Zoologiske Museum, Oslo, there is "a group of African scavenger 
birds feasting upon the head of a dead zebra, with matter oozing out of eyes, nose, and 
mouth, and maggots competing with the birds. "^ This compound of an artificial presentation 
with a shocking image of corruption is Baconian. 

It is important to determine the function of photographs in Bacon's art. He used a 
still of the injured nurse in The Battleship Potemkin in 1949 and subsequently around 1950 
he began using motifs from the motion studies of Muybridge. Also in the early 50s he used 
Marius Maxwell's Stalking Big Game With a Camera in Equatorial Africa, though, as a rule, 
indirectly. The Popes of 1951 quote not only from Velasquez's Innocent X but, also, from a 
photograph of Pope Pius Xll carried on a sedia gestatoria through a room in the Vatican. 
This group of paintings is, incidentally, the first series showing successive, though mysteri- 
ous, episodes. Here Bacon is producing some of his most fully realized works, as if he were 
aiming at a masterpiece, but at the same time, repeating the image with small changes, like 
a series of photographs or a comic strip. 

What is the historical relation of photography to art? Obviously the belief that it 
would kill, or that it had killed, figurative painting satisfied only a few early 20th century 


Clippings in Bacon's studio, circa 1951. 

polemicists. What photography did was to enlarge the scope of figurative painting by carry- 
ing the human image out of classical idealism. Delacroix recognized this clearly: "After 
having examined . . . photographs of nude models, some of them pooiiy built, overdeveloped 
in places and producing a rather disagreeable effect, I displayed some engravings bv Mar- 
cantonio. We had a feeling of repulsion, almost of disgust, at their incorrectness, their man- 
nerism, and their lack of naturalness: and we felt these things despite the virtue of style."' 
Bacon's use of photographs is fully in line with this reading of photographs as non-hierarchic 
and un-planned fragments of real life. Thus, in his work, blurred forms and mysterious 
gestures, derived to some extent from photographs, occur within the context of the Grand 
Manner. A processional image becomes a scene of assault, like an assassination; wrestlers 
become lovers: figures in a room look like celebrities whose names and faces we can no 
longer keep together. Bacon simulates the grainv qualitv of photographs, especially when 


processed for reproduction, thus, depositing, as it were, bits of the world in his imposing 
pictures. Both texture and gesture derive, in Bacon's work, from photographic sources. The 
evasive nature of his imagery, which is shocking but obscure, like accident or atrocity 
photographs, is arrived at by using photography's huge repertory of visual images for all 
objects and events,^ which permits connections between widely scattered phenomena (a 
human head and an ape's, for instance) . 

Human actions, when arrested in time, frozen at a brief moment, have a potential 
for mystery, inasmuch as the purpose and context of the action may be missing. Uncaptioned 
news photographs, for instance, often appear as momentous and extraordinary, though 
deeply human and anonymous. In his earlier work Bacon used this property of photographs 
to subvert the clarity of pose of figures in traditional painting. In place of the convention of 
explicit gestures in art, he developed a style of unpremeditated gesture, of the inadvertently 
and obscurely revealing, based on the expressions and movements that we all share and 
manifest unknowingly. 

So important is the theme of motion that Bacon's development can be, perhaps, dis- 
cussed in terms of a change in his approach to the problem. From 1949 to 1956 the movement 
of figures is indicated mainly by blurring the edges and opening the planes of forms. Forms 
are evoked by partial glimpses, diffused by atmospheric chiaroscuro, though the whole form 
is never questioned. There is plenty of space for the implied movement to take place. The 
effect is of spatial fullness and of the free occupancy of space by mobile and fugitive figures. 
In 19.56, though Bacon's interest in motion did not change, his way of handling it did. There 
is a new sharpness of contour and solidity (or, at least, continuity) of planes. Previously the 
whole figure was seen in motion, with each form retaining, however blurred or transparent, 
its integrity. The limbs might be hazy, but they were intact and in place. Later, however, 
motion is expressed by the compression of bounded and continuous forms. Thus, a turning 
head is indicated not by being smeary and blurred, but by being twisted; bodies, instead of 
fraying as they moved in time, are corkscrewed or dilated by successive movements, each 
phase of which is partially visible. It is possible that some reference to Futurism may be 
contained in the later figures.^ In the sliding and squeezing of anatomies there is a remi- 
niscence of Umberto Boccioni's bronze sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space 
(1913). What Bacon gives us, perhaps, is Boccioni's "ideal reconstruction of continuity" 
without the reference to machinery which geometrizes Boccioni's work. Instead of metallic 
surfaces, the figures are pulpy and vulnerable, as in the Three Studies for a Crucifixion, 1962. 

A change in Bacon's color-range and paint-handling is related to this development. 
His earlier paintings are monochromatic, based on black and a restricted number of colors, 
clearly revealing a sympathy with Manet. The link with Manet is not casual, but a consistent 
parallel with an artist who preserved the Grand Manner format while painting improvisa- 
tionally (and, to his critics, casually) within it. Bacon's paintings from 1945 to 1949 reveal, 


on the whole, a progressive move from a dense, stickily-textured surface, which hesitates 
between painterly and sculpturesque form, to a consistent painterly style. With the 50s comes 
an increasing lightness in the paint, which tends to be dry and dabbed on, so that forms are 
grazed and flicked into being. In 1952 this manner of painting became sparser, a kind of 
parched morse-code over dry canvas. Variations of this way of painting are consistent until 
1956 when richer color and more unified planes appear. By 1959 an unprecedented clarity 
of color puts, as it were, the formerly shado^vy figures of Bacon into the light of day; and 
the light, combined with Bacon's use of literal effects of ioreshortening, shows that the figures 
resemble cripples. 

Although Bacon's work reveals change when viewed chronologically, he is not one 
of those artists whose work needs to be seen in sequential order for its full realization. He 
wall hit on an image, with apparent suddenness, and then use it repeatedly, in variations 
which are not necessarily resolvable into a logical procedure. References back and forth 
between different versions of the basic images, create a denser layer of meaning than any of 
the works singly. For instance, the various paintings of the Crucifixion add to one another, 
but without revealing an ideological change between the 1950 and 1962 versions. His work 
is, perhaps, best viewed as a cluster of images, which he has invented and elaborated, 
returnins; to them over and over asain. 

Deville, William Blake Life Mask. 1823. Plaster, IIW' high. National Portrait Gallery, London. 

(see Catalogue Nos. 30, 31, 32, 34) 


Lessing has discussed the problem of the scream in art: "The simple opening of the 
mouth, apart from the violent and repulsive contortions it causes in the other parts of the 
face, is a blot on a painting and a cavity in a statue productive of the worst possible effect."' 
"Imagine Laocoon's mouth open, and judge. Let him scream, and see. It was, before, a 
figure to inspire compassion in its beauty and suffering. Now it is ugly, abhorrent, and we 
gladly avert our eyes from a painful spectacle.'^" It is clear that Bacon's human image con- 
tinually violates the canon of Lessing. The scream is a recurring theme of Bacon's art; some- 
times an early painting seems to be little more than a mouth, "a blot." It is imagery of this 
kind which called forth the criticism mentioned earlier. My point is not that Bacon is not a 
painter of grotesque and gruesome effects, but that these effects occur within the context of 
art. and not merely as reflexes to an historical moment. 

If one characterizes Bacon as a painter of the grotesque it must be with certain 
reservations. He is not a painter of fantasy that transcends earthly reality or makes jokes 
out of it. He neither projects "the dreams of painters," in free-wheeling imagination, nor 
does he pursue compounds of human and other forms in a metamorphic game. He is not, 
for instance, much like Fuseli who, though he invented a personal iconography of terror and 
nocturnal effects, treated his figures and objects in a stylized and disembodied manner. 
Bacon always presupposes, and aims to convince us of, a substantial core to his paintings, 
human and solid. One function of his use of photographs is interference with the Grand Man- 
ner, but we read the interference as evidence of life and the human presence in the painting. 
In fact. Bacon is in line with that branch of the theory of the grotesque^' which stresses the 
preservation of a basis in visual, observable fact. Although the monstrousness of the subject 
may be brought out, it is continually checked by correspondence to its model. 

The technical means by which Bacon represents motion in time, within the spatial 
art of painting, are closely linked to his content. The way he manipulates the paint is insepa- 
rable from the impression of flesh and mortality with which he is preoccupied. Just as he 
preserves the Grand Manner as a normative framework, which he stretches but does not 
abandon, so he keeps the human contour legible through all deformations. The imagery of 
forms in motion becomes metaphoric of the way time, in longer periods, destroys bodies. 
Bacon's figures are represented in action, but, also, as subject to accelerations of time's 
process. Through motion studies. Bacon arrives at an imagery of death. In the small paint- 
ings of heads, his free handling identifies the paint with human flesh, which seems to be 
separating from the head and admitting sight of the skull. Death is, for Bacon, the point of 
reality which gives meaning to everything else; his grotesque imagery, therefore, leads 
directly to his sense of the factual. Erich Auerbach has pointed out that "in the 19th century 
the work 'realism' was associated chiefly with the crass representation of ugly, sordid and 
horrifying aspects of life."'^ Bacon, who has certainly inherited this association, can be, 
simultaneously, grotesque and realistic. 

Lawrence Alloway 



1. Jean Cocteau. Five Plays, New York, 1961, p. 8. 

2. Pointed out by Mark Roskill in his "'Bacon as a Mannerist," which he kindly allowed nie to read in manuscript. 

3. Erwin Panofsky. The Codex Huygens and Leonardo da Vinci's Art Theory, London. Warburg Institute, 1940. 

4. Ibid. 

5. A. E. Paar. "Realism and Romanticism in Museum Exhibits," Curator, New York, vol. 6, no. 2, 1963, p. 174. 

6. Eugene Delacroix. Entry, Saturday, May 21. 1853, The Journal of Eugene Delacroix, Translated by Walter Pach, New York, 
Crown, 1948, p. 314. 

7. Examples of the kind of photograph that Bacon has used are found in Amedee Ozenfant's Foundations oj Modern Art 

(new edition. New York, Dover, 1952), a possible source book. These are: a blurry photograph of a chimpanzee (p. 5), closer t:i 
Bacon's chimpanzee paintings of 1953 and 1955 than anything in Marius Maxwell; "Sir Austin Chamberlain as seen in a 
Distorting Mirror" (p. 59) ; and a man carrying a monkey (p. 174). T. B. Hess has reported de Kooning's observation that 
"a glance at a newspaper photograph or television report shows an incident in a city street that also might be happening in an 
open field or Hollywood bowl" ( Willem de Kooning, New York, Braziller, 1959) . Thus the photographic media can give a 
sense of immediacy while denying our sense of location. 

8. Ronald Alley suggested, in his excellent notes to the catalogue of the Francis Bacon exhibition. Tate Gallery, 1962, 
that the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's Man with Dog, 1953, referred to Balla's Leash in Motion, seen in London in 1952. 

9. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Laocoon. An Essay Upon the Limits of Painting and Poetry, New York, Noonday. 1961. p. 14. 

10. Ibid, p. 13. 

11. Wolfgang Kayser. The Grotesque: Art and Literature, Indiana, University of Indiana Press, 1963. 

12. Erich Auerbach. "The Aesthetic Dignity of the 'Fleurs de Mai'," Scenes from the Drama of European Literature, New York, 
Meridian, 1959. 

WORKS 1^ THE nilllllTlOW 

The following paintings will be shown only in New York: Nos. 5, 7, 14, 23, 29. 

1. FIGURE IN A LANDSCAPE. 1945. Oil on canvae, 57 x SOVa". 
Lent by The Trustees of The Tate Gallery, London. 

2. STUDY FOR THE HUMAN FIGURE AT THE CROSS II. 1945-1946. Oil on canvas, 47% x40%" 
Collection Corrado Levi, Turin. 

3. THE MAGDALENE. 1945-1946. Oil on canvas, 57% x 50%". 
Lent by Bagshaw Art Gallery, Batley, England. 

4. MAN WITH A CAR. 1945-1946. Oil on canvas, 57ys x 50%". 
Lent by Galleria Galatea, Turin. 

5. PAINTING. 1946. Oil and tempera on canvas, 1V/& x 52". 
Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. 

6. HEAD II. 1949. Oil on canvas, 32 x 27". 
Collection Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland. 

7. HEAD IV. 1949. Oil on canvas, 32% x 26%". 
Collection Geoffrey Gates, New York. 

8. HEAD VI. 1949. Oil on canvas, 36% x 30%". 
Collection The Arts Council of Great Britain, London. 

9. PAINTING. 1950. Oil on canvas, 78 x 52". 
Collection City Art Gallery, Leeds, England. 

10. FRAGMENT OF A CRUCIFIXION. 1950. Oil on canvas, 60 x 48". 
Collection Mrs. Helen Grigg, Biot, France. 


11. STUDY FOR NUDE. 1951. Oil on canvas, 78 x 54". 
Private Collection, London. 

12. POPE WITH FAN CANOPY. 1951. Oil on canvas, 78 x 54". 
Lent by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London. 

13. POPE. 1951. Oil on canvas, 77% x 54V2". 
Collection The Aberdeen Gallery, Scotland. 

14. POPE SHOUTING. 1951. Oil on canvas, 78 x 54". 
Collection Stadtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim. 

15. STUDY FOR NUDE. 1952. Oil on canvas, 78 x 54". 
Collection The Detroit Institute of Arts. 

16. STUDY OF A DOG. 1952. Oil on canvas, 78 x 54". 
Lent by The Trustees of The Tate Gallery, London. 

17. STUDY FOR A PORTRAIT. 1952. Oil on canvas, 26 x 22". 

Lent by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London. 

18. STUDY OF A FIGURE IN A LANDSCAPE. 1952. Oil on canvas, 78 x 54". 
The Pliillips Collection, Washington, D. C. 

19. LANDSCAPE. 1952. Oil on canvas, 54 x 42". 
Lent by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London. 

20. ELEPHANT FORDING A RIVER. 1952. Oil on canvas, 78 x 54". 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. William A. M. Burden, New York. 

21. STUDY FOR PORTRAIT. 1953. Oil on canvas, 60 x 461/2". 
Lent by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London. 

22. TWO FIGURES. 1953. Oil on canvas, 60 x 46". 
Lent by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London. 

23. STUDY OF A BABOON. 1953. Oil on canvas, 78 x 54". 
Collection James Thrall Soby, New Canaan, Connecticut. 

24. MAN WITH DOG. 1954. Oil on canvas, 60 x 46". 
Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo. 

25. STUDY FROM THE HUMAN FIGURE. 1954. Oil on canvas, 591/2 x 451/2". 
Collection Anthony Denney, London. 

26. PORTRAIT. 1954. Oil on canvas, 221/2 x 19%". 
Collection Nicolo Dona Dalle Rose, Milan. 

27. HEAD SURROUNDED BY SIDES OF BEEF (Study after Velasquez) . 1954. Oil on canvas, 50ys x 48" 
Collection The Art Institute of Chicago, Harriott A. Fox Fund. 

28. SPHINX. 1954. Oil on canvas, 59% x 45%". 
Lent by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London. 


29. MAN IN BLUE I. 1955. Oil on canvas, 77% x SSVs". 
Urvater Collection, Belgium. 

30. STUDY FOR PORTRAIT I (After the Life Mask of William Blake). 1955. Oil on canvas, 24 x 20". 
Collection Dr. J. Dewey Bisgard, Omaha. 

31. STUDY FOR PORTRAIT II (After the Life Mask of William Blake) . 1955. Oil on canvas, 24 x 20". 
Collection Lady Caroline Citkowitz, New York. 

32. STUDY FOR PORTRAIT III (After the Life Mask of William Blake). 1955. Oil on canvas, 24 x 20" 
Collection Miss Erica Brausen, London. 

33. CHIMPANZEE. 1955. Oil on canvas, 60 x 46". 
Collection Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart. 

34. STUDY FOR PORTRAIT IV (After the Life Mask of William Blake). 1956. Oil on canvas, 241/2 x 20". 
Collection James Thrall Soby, New Canaan, Connecticut. 

35. FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE. 1956. Oil on canvas, 60 x 46%". 
Collection Birmingham City Art Gallery, Birmingham, England. 

36. STUDY FOR PORTRAIT OF VAN GOGH I. 1956. Oil on canvas, 59% x 451/2". 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Sainsbury, London. 

37. STUDY FOR FIGURE V. 1956. Oil on canvas, 60 x 461/2". 
Lent by Kasniin Ltd., London. 

38. ARAB AND CHILD. 1956. Oil on canvas, 78 x 56". 
Collection Julian J. and Joachim Jean Aberbach, New York. 

39. STUDY FOR PORTRAIT OF VAN GOGH HI. 1957. Oil on canvas, 78I/2 x 56i/s". 
Collection The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, New York. 

40. STUDY FOR PORTRAIT OF VAN GOGH V. 1957. Oil on canvas, 78 x 54". 
Collection The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, New York. 

41. STUDY FOR PORTRAIT #9. 1957. Oil on canvas, 60 x 461/2". 
The Abrams Family Collection, New York. 

42. SELF-PORTRAIT. 1958. Oil on canvas, 60 x 47". 
Collection The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, New York. 

43. LYING FIGURE #3. 1959. Oil on canvas, 78 x 56". 
Lent by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London. 

44. SEATED MAN, ORANGE BACKGROUND. 1959. Oil on canvas, 61% x SSVs". 
Lent by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London. 

45. HEAD OF MAN— STUDY OF DRAWING BY VAN GOGH. 1959. Oil on canvas, 26ys x 24ys". 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Harry C. Cooper, Los Angeles. 

46. RECLINING FIGURE. 1959. Oil on canvas, 77% x 55%". 
Lent by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London. 


47. LYING FIGURE #2. 1959. Oil on canvas, 73 x 58". 
Collection Franklin Konigsberg, New York. 

48. TWO FIGURES IN A ROOJI. 1959. Oil on canvas, 78 x 55%". 
Collection ^Ir. and !Mrs. R. J. Sainsbury. London. 

49. HEAD OF MAN NO. 1. 1959. Oil on canvas, 15 x UV2". 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Sainsbury, London. 

50. HEAD OF .MAN NO. 4. 1959. Oil on canvas, 19 x 18". 
Collection Mrs. Torquil Norman. London. 

51. RECLINING WOMAN. 1960-1961. Oil on canvas, 78% x 55%". 
Lent by The Trustees of The Tate Gallery, London. 

52. SEATED FIGURE. 1961. Oil on canvas, 65 x 56". 
Lent by The Trustees of The Tate Gallery, London. 

53. TWO FIGURES. 1961. Oil on canvas, 78 x 57". 
Lent by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd.. London. 

54. WOMAN ON RED COUCH. 1961. Oil on canvas, 78 x 57". 
Private Collection, Rome. 

55. -MAN DRESSED IN RED OX DAIS. 1962. Oil on canvas, 78 x 56". 
Collection Julian J. and Joachim Jean Aberbach, New ^ork. 

56. STUDY FOR THREE HEADS. 1962. Oil on canvas, each 14 x 12". 
CoUecticn William S. Paley, New York. 

57. THREE STUDIES FOR A CRUCIFIXION. 1962. Oil on canvas, each 78 x 57". 
Lent by Marlborough Fine -\rt Ltd.. London. 

58. TURNING FIGURE. 1962. Oil on canvas. 78 x 57". 
Co'lection Ted Weiner. Fort Worth. 

59. MAN AND CHILD. 1963. Oil on canvas, 78 x 56". 
Collection Julian J. and Joachim Jean .Aberbach, New York. 

60. STUDY FOR SELF-PORTRAIT. 1963. Oil on canvas, 65 x 57". 
Lent by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd.. London. 

61. STUDY FOR PORTRAIT OF P. L. FROM PHOTOGRAPHS. 1963. Oil on canvas, 78 x 57 
Lent by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London. 

62. STUDY FOR PORTRAIT ON FOLDING BED. 1563. Oil on canvas, 78 x 58". 
Lent by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London. 

63. LYING FIGURE \^ITH HYPODERMIC SYRINGE. 1963. Oil on canvas, 78 x 57". 
Lent by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London. 

64. LANDSCAPE NEAR MALABATA. 1963. Oil on canvas, 78 x 57". 
Lent bv Marlborouah Fine Art Ltd., London. 


i. Figure in a Landscape. 1945. {above) 2. Study for the Human Figure at the Cross II. 1945-1946. (below) 


3. The Magdalene. 1945-1946. 


4. Man with a Car. 1945-1946. 


5. Paintine. 1946. 

6. Head II. 1949. 


7. Head IV. 1949. 


8. Head VI. 1949. 


[ • ■ " 

1 :,jaaM^ . 



iWiiMTrnr ' • — i 

^B / ^■■ak'v^^^Hf 

1 -S^i 




9. Painting. 1950. (above left) 

10. Fragment of a Crucifixion. 1950. 

11. Study for Nude. 1951. (above right) 


12. Pope with Fan Canopy. 1951. 


13. Pope. 1951. 


14. Pope Shouting. 1951. 


15. Study for Nude. 1952. 


16. Study of a Dog. 1952. (above) 

17. Study for a Portrait. 1952. (below) 


p : _v"'-' 


\- ^ 


• / 

^ r > 




18. Study of a Figure in a Landscape. 1952. 



i -' 

. -. ^ w»- i««. Hi-^gr- 




19. Landscape. 1952. 


20. Elephant Fording a River. 1952. 


21. Study for Portrait. 1953. 


22. Two Figures. 1953. 


23. Study of a Baboon. 1953. (above) 

25. Study from the Human Figure. 1954. (below) 

24. Man with Dog. 1954. (above) 
26. Portrait. 1954. (below) 


27. Head Surrounded by Sides of Beef ( Study after Velasquez). 1954. 


28. Sphinx. 1954. 

29. Man in Blue I. 1955. 


32. Study for Portrait III (After the Life Mask of IPilliam Blake). 1955. 

30. Study for Portrait I (After the Life Mask of William Blake). 1955. (opposite page, top) 
31. Study for Portrait II (After the Life Mask of William Blake). 1955. (opposite page, center) 
34. Study for Portrait IV (After the Life Mask of William Blake). 1956. (opposite page, bottom) 


33. Chimpanzee. 19o5. 


35. Figures in a Landscape. 1956. 

36. Study for Portrait of Fan Gogh I. 1956. (above) 

39. Study for Portrait of I an Gogh III. 1957. (below) 


40. Study for Portrait of J 'an Gogh V. 1957. 

41. Study for Portrait ff9. 1957. 

37. Study for Figure V. 1956. (above) 

42. Self-portrait. 1958. 


38. Arab and Child. 1956. (above) 

44. Seated Man. Orange Background. 1959. (below) 

43. Lying Figure #3. 1959. (above) 
45. Head of Man — Study of Draning by Van Gogh. 1959. (below) 


46. Reclining Figure. 1959. 

47. Lying Figure §2. 1959. 


48. Tuo Figures in a Room. 1959. 


49. Head of Man No. 1. 1939. 


50. Head of Man No. 4. 1959. 


Seated Figure. 1961. 





mm ▼ 



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53. Two Figures. 1961. 

51. Reclining Woman. 1960-1961. (above) 

54. Woman on Red Couch. 1961. 


55. Man Dressed in Red on Dais. 1962. 


56. Study for Three Heads. 1962. 


(left panel) 

57. Three Studies for a Crucifixion. 1962. 

(right panel) 


57. Three Studies for a Crucifixion. 1962. (center panel) 


58. Turning Figure. 1962. 


S9. Man and Child. 1963. 


60. Study for Self-portrait. 1963. 

61. Study for Portrait of P. L. from Photographs. 1963. 


62. Study for Portrait on Folding Bed. 1963. 


63. Lying Figure with Hypodermic Syringe. 1963. 


64. Landscape near Malahata. 1963. 



Ritchie. Andrew Carnduff. The Neic Decade: 22 European Painters and Sculptors, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 1955, p. 60-64. Statement 

bv the artist from unpublished interview with Time, 1952. 
Bacon. Francis. "Matthew Smith — A Painter's Tribute", Matthew Smith — Paintings from 1909 to 1952, London, The Tate Gallery, 1953, p. 12. 

(Exhibition catalogue). 
"The .\rt of the Impossible: Interview with David Sylvester", Sunday Times Magazine, London, July 14, 1963, p. 13-18. 


AUev, Ronald. "Francis Bacon", Cimaise, Paris, Series 10, no. 1, January-February, 1963, p. 12-25. 

"Francis Bacon", Current Biography yearbook. New York, H. W. Wilson, 1957, p. 33-35. 

GrifEn, Howard. "Francis Bacon, 'Case-History Painting' ", Studio, London, vol. 161, May, 1961, p. 164-169. 

Hoctin, Luce. "Francis Bacon et la hantise de I'homme", XX' Siecle, Paris, no. 11, December, 1958, p. 53-55. 

Hunter, Sam. "Francis Bacon: the .Anatomy of Horror", Magazine of Art, Washington, D. C., vol. 45, January, 1952, p. 11-15. 

J.A.C. "Une Imagerie (Bourree de Souvenirs) : Francis Bacon", Le Jardin des Arts, Paris, April, 1957, p. 346-347. 

Lessore, Helen. "A note on the development of Francis Bacon's painting", X, London, vol. 2, no. 1, March, 1961, p. 23-26. 

Melville, Robert. "Francis Bacon", Horizon, London, vol. 20, no. 120-121, December, 1949 — January, 1950, p. 419-423. 

jMelviUe, Robert. "The Iconoclasm of Francis Bacon", World Review, London, new series, January 23, 1951, p. 63-64. 

Melville, Robert. "Der Maler Francis Bacon", Werk, Winterthur, vol. 48, January, 1961, p. 30-32. 

"Portrait Gallery: Francis Bacon", Sunday Times, London, May 5, 1957, p. 3. 

"Portrait of the Artist", Art News and Revieic, London, vol. 6, no. 9, May 29, 1954, p. 1. 

Ragon, Michel. "Eight Days in London", Cimaise, Paris, series 8, no. 54, July- August, 1961, p. 58, 66. 69. 

Reichardt, Jasia. "Francis Bacon", The London Magazine, London, vol. 2, no. 3, June, 1962, p. 38-44. 

Roskill, Mark. "Francis Bacon as a Mannerist", Art International, Ziirich, vol. 7, no. 7, September, 1963. 

Rubin, Frank. "Francis Bacon", Kunst, no. 5, Februar)', 1955, p. 142-147. 

Spender, Stephen. "Francis Bacon", Quadrum, Brussels, no. 11, 1961, p. 47-58, 184. 

Spender, Stephen. ** 'Der Tradition eine neue Wendung geben', Ein Gesprach mit dem Maler Francis Bacon", JFeltwoche, October 19, 1962, p. 27. 

Sylvester, David. "Francis Bacon", Britain Today, London, no. 214, February, 1954, p. 23-26. 

Sylvester, David. "In Camera", Encounter, London, no. 43, April, 1957, p. 22-24. 

"The 1930 Look in British Decoration", Studio, London, c. 1930, p. 140-141. 

"The Observer Profile — Francis Bacon", The Observer W eekend Review, London, May 27, 1962. 



All entries are one-man exhibitions unless otherwise noted. Entries cover revieu-s of exhibitions through Tate Gallery Retrospective, 1962. 

1949 Hanover Gallery, London, November 8-December 10. 

Catalogue: Francis Bacon — Paintings: Robin Ironside — Colored Draivings. 
Heron, Patrick. "Francis Bacon", Neic Statesman and Nation, London, December 3, 1949. 
Newton, Eric. "Double Bass and Piccolo", Sunday Times, London, November 13, 1949. 
"Survivors", Time, New York, vol. 54, November 21, 1949, p. 44. 
Wallis, Nevile. "Nightmare", The Observer, London, November 20, 1949. 

1950 Hanover Gallery, London, September-October. 

Catalogue covering exhibitions of Bacon and Hilly. 
1951-52 Hanover Gallery, London, December-January. 

No catalogue. 
Berger, John. "Francis Bacon", Neiv Statesman and Nation, London, vol. 43, January 5, 1952, p. 11-12. 
"Exhibition at Hanover Gallery", Apollo, London, vol. 55, January, 1952, p. 33. 
Gasser, H. U. "Francis Bacon", Werk, Winterthur, vol. 39, April, 1952, p. 53, 55 (Supplement). 

Hammer, Andrew. "Exhibition at Hanover Gallery", Architectural Revieiv, London, vol. 3, February, 1952, p. 132-133. 
"Hanover Gallery: Mr. Bacon's Paintings", The Times, London, January 7, 1952. 
Middleton, Michael. "Work in Progress", Art Neivs and Review, London, December 29, 1951. 
Sylvester, David. "The Painting of Francis Bacon", The Listener, London, January 3, 1952, p. 28-29. 
Wallis, Nevile "Francis Bacon", The Observer, London, December 23, 1951. 

Vernis. "Master oi the Monstrous", Connoisseur, (American edition). New York, vol. 131, April, 1953, p. 34. 
1952-53 Hanover Gallery, London, December-January. 

No catalogue. 
"Mr. Bacon's New Paintings: African Animals", The Times, London, December 16, 1952. 
Russell, John. "Reality Plus", Sunday Times, London, December 14, 1952. 

Sutton, Denys. "Art News from London, Francis Bacon", Art News, New York, vol. 51, January, 1953, p. 52. 
Sylvester, David. "Round the London Galleries", The Listener, London, December 18, 1952, p. 1040. 
Beaux Arts Gallery, London. 

"Mr. Francis Bacon's New Paintings: Extraordinary Use of Photographs", The Times, London, November 13, 1953. 
Durlacher Bros., New York, October 20-November 14. 


D. G. S. [Dorothy Gees Seckler] "Exhibition at Durlacher", Art News, New York, vol. 52, November, 1953, p. 42-43. 
Fitzsimmons, James. "Art", Arts & Architecture, Los Angeles, vol. 71, January, 1954, p. 30. 

Hunter, Sam. "Francis Bacon: 'An Acute Sense of Impasse' ", Art Digest, New York, vol. 28, October 15, 1953, p. 16. 
"Snapshots from Hell", Time, New York, vol. 62, October 19, 1953, p. 62-63. 

Soby, James Thrall. "Mr. Francis Bacon", Saturday Review, New York, vol. 36, November 7, 1953, p. 48-49. 
1954 Hanover Gallery, London, June-July. 

No catalogue. 
"Apparitions of Evil: Mr. Francis Bacon's New Paintings", The Times, London, June 14, 1954. 
Boles, Bernard. "Mostly Bacon", Art News and Revieiv, London, vol. 6, no. 11, June 26, 1954, p. 4. 
Middleton, Michael. "Brev Fran London, Francis Bacon", Konstrevy, Stockholm, vol. 4, 1954, p. 171, 173. 
XXI 11 Biennale, Venice. 

Exhibitions of Bacon, Nicholson, Freud organized by The British Council; catalogue note on Bacon by David Sylvester. 
Kern, W. "Anmerkungen zur XXVII Biennale in Venedig", Werk, Winterthur, vol. 41, August, 1954, p. 337. 
Martha Jackson Gallery, New York. "British Art, Hepworth, Bacon, Scott", New York, October 12-November 6. 

Group Exhibition. 

E. C. M. [Eleanor C. Munro] "Bacon, Hepworth, Scott at Jackson Gallery", Art News, New York, vol. 53, October, 1954, p. 51. 
H. K. [Hilton Kramerl '"British trio at Martha Jackson Gallery", Art Digest, New York, vol. 29, October 15, 1954, p. 22. 
Beaux Arts Gallery, London. 

Group Exhibition. 
Melville, Robert. "Exhibition, Beaux Arts Gallery", Architectural Review, London, vol. 115, February, 1954, p. 133. 


1955 Hanover Gallery, London, June-July. 

Catalogue covering exhibitions of Bacon, Scott and Sutherland. 
AUoway, Lawrence. "Charm", Art News and Review, London, vol. 7, no. 12, July 9, 1955, p. 7. (Title originally "Horror"; misprinted 

as "Charm".) 
The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. 

Retrospective exhibition. 

Catalogue with introduction by Max Clarac-Serou. 
Alloway, Lawrence. "Notes on Francis Bacon", Art News and Review, London, vol. 6, no. 27, February 5, 1955, p. 4. (Should be 

numbered vol. 7, no. 1.) 
Alloway, Lawrence. "Art News from London", Art News, New York, vol. 54, March, 1955, p. 17, 59. 
Melville. Robert. "Retrospective held at the ICA", Architectural Review, London, vol. 117, April, 1955, p. 270, 271. 
"The Paintings of Mr. Bacon: A Prophet of Doom", The Times, London, January 24, 1955. 
Sylvester. David. "Round the London Galleries", The Listener. London, January 27, 1955, p. 162. 

1956 Hanover Gallery, London, March 21-April 26. 

1957 Galerie Rive Droite, Paris, February 12-March 10. 

Catalogue with introductions by Roland Penrose (in French) and David Sylvester (English and French). 
Butler, Barbara. "Paris: Chadwick, Hitchens and Bacon featured in an artistic 'Entente Cordiale' ", Arts, New York, vol. .31, April, 1957, 

p. 18-19. 
Hoctin, Luce. "Francis Bacon: un peintre hallucine". Arts, Paris, February 13-19, 1957, p. 10. 
Russell, John. "Across the Channel", Sunday Times, London, February 24, 1957. 
Hanover Gallery, London, March 21-April 26. 

Alloway, Lawrence. "Art News from London: exhibition of new paintings at the Hanover Gallery", Art Neivs, New York, vol. 56, 

May, 1957, p. 48. 
Burr, James. "The Baconian Van Gogh", Art News and Review, London, vol. 9, no. 5, March 30, 1957, p. 6. 
Golding, John. "Lust for Death", Neiv Statesman and Nation, London, April 6, 1957. 

Heron, Patrick. "London: new canvases at the Hanover Gallery", Arts, New York, vol. 31, September, 1957, p. 13. 
"London Commentary: exhibition at the Hanover Gallery", Studio, London, vol. 158, June, 1957, p. 187. 
Spira, Robert. "Austellung Francis Bacon", Die Weltkunst, vol. 27, no. 9, May 1, 1957, p. 7. 
Sutton, Denys. "Francis Bacon", The Financial Times, London, April 16, 1957. 

1958 Galleria Galatea, Turin, January 23-February 10. 

Catalogue with introduction by L. C. [Luigi Carluccio] . 
Galleria dell'Ariete, Milan, February 17-March 5. 

Catalogue with introduction by Toni del Renzio; note by David Sylvester reprinted from catalogue of XXVII Biennale, Venice. 
L'Obelisco, Rome, March. 

Catalogue with introduction by Toni del Renzio (reprinted from Galleria dell'Ariete catalogue) . 

1959 Hanover Gallery, London, June 9-July 6. 

V Bienal, Sao Paulo. 

Exhibitions of Bacon, Hayter and Hepworth organized by The British Council; catalogue text on Bacon by Robert Melville (in 

Portuguese and English). 
"La quinta biennale di Sao Paulo", Domus, Milan, no. 362, January, 1960, p. 46. 
Richard L. Feigen Gallery, Chicago, July 6-August 1. 

Catalogue: 12 Paintings, 1947-1958. 
n Documenta, Kassel, July 11-October 11. 

Catalogue: II Documenta, Malerei, Cologne, DuMont Schauberg, 1959, p. 66, 67. 
Museum of Modern Art, New York, "New Images of Man", September 30-November 29, 1959. 

Catalogue of group exhibition: New Images of Man, by Peter Selz, p. 28-33, on Bacon. 

1960 The Art Galleries. University of California at Los Angeles, October 30-December 11. 

Catalogue: Francis Bacon — Hyman Bloom. 
Kessler, Charles. "Los Angeles: Bacon, Bloom, Lebrun", Arts, New York, vol. 35, January, 1961, p. 14. 
Langsner, Jules. "On view at U.C.L.A.", Art News, New York, vol. 59, December, 1960, p. 46. 
Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London, March-April. 

Catalogue with introduction by Robert Melville. 
Alloway, Lawrence. "Dr. No's Bacon", Art News and Review, London, vol. 12, no. 6, April 9, 1960, p. 4, 5. Reply by David Sylvester, 

Art News and Review, vol. 12, no. 8, May 7, 1960, p. 2. 
Alloway, Lawrence. "Francis Bacon", Art International, Ziirich, vol. 4, no. 2-3, 1960, p. 62, 63. 

Bowness, Alan. "Bacon's Turning Point: exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery", Arts, New York, vol. 34, May, 1960, p. 20, 21. 
Melville, Robert. "Exhibition of Recent Paintings at Marlborough Gallery", Architectural Review, London, vol. 127, June, 1960, p. 423. 
Russell, John. "Art News from London, Francis Bacon", Art News, New York, vol. 59, Summer, 1960, p. 52, 68. 
Strauss, Michel. "Exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery", Burlington Magazine, London, vol. 102, May, 1960, p. 223. 

1961 Nottingham University, Department of Fine Art, Nottingham, February 16-March 12. 

Catalogue with introduction by Helen Lessore. 
Spender, Stephen. "Francis Bacon at Nottingham", The Listener, London, February 23, 1961, p. 360. 
Tucker, Anthony. "Beyond Despair", The Manchester Guardian, Manchester, February 23, 1961. 
1962-63 The Tate Gallery, London, May 24-July 1, 1962. 

Retrospective exhibition organized by The Tate Gallery (circulating thereafter). 

Catalogue with Foreword by Sir Colin Anderson, and introduction by Sir John Rothenstein. 
Archer, W. G. "Dramas in Paint", The Sunday Telegraph, London, May 27, 1962. 


Brookner, Anita. ""Exhibition in London". Burlington Magadne, London. voL 104. Julv. 1962, p. 313. 

Burn, Guv. "Francis Bacon", Arts Review. London. voL 14, no. 10, June 2-16, 1962, p. 7. 

"Distort into Reality", Time. New York, June 8, 1962, p. 46. 

Exner, Julian. "Orpheus und Hamm", Frankfurter Rundschau. Frankfurt /Main, June 13, 1962. 

Fried. MichaeL "Bacon's Achievement", .Arts, New York, voL 36. September, 1962, p. 28-29. 

Gosling. NigeL "Report from the Lnderworld", The Observer Weekend Revieiv, London, May 27, 1962, p. 27. 

"Londoner Austellungen", Die W eltkunst, July 1, 1962. 

Lucie-Smith. Edward. "Images of Our Time", The Listener. London. June 7. 1962. p. 998. 

Lynton. Xorbert. ""London Letter. Bacon. Davie, Kokoschka", Art International. Ziirich, vol. 6, no. 8, October 25, 1962, p. 68,69. 

Melville, Robert. "Retrospective exhibition at The Tate Gallery", Architectural Review, London, vol. 132, August, 1962, p. 132-133. 

Mullins, Edwin. "Academy Myths and Private Images", .ipollo, London, new series, vol. 77, July, 1962, p. 406-408, 410. 

Nash, John M. "The Private Obsessions of Francis Bacon", Yorkshire Post. London, May 25, 1962. 

"Parnaso", // Hondo, Rome, June 5, 1962. 

Reichardt, Jasia. "Le retrospective Bacon a la Tate Gallery", Aujourd'hui, Boulogne, vol. 6, June, 1962, p. 50. 

Russell, John. "Titian Crossed with Tussaud", The Sunday Times, London, May 27, 1962. 

Rvkwert. Josef. ""La mostra di Bacon alia Tate", Domus, Milan, no. 393, August, 1962. p. 43. 

Spiel. Hilde. "'Zwei Englische Maler", I\ational-Zeitung, Basel, no. 272, June 19, 1962. 

Spiel. Hilde. "'Spate Expressionisten", Suddeutsche Zeitung. Munich, June 19, 1962. 

Sutton, Denys. "Francis Bacon — Too Shrill a Cry?". Financial Times. London, Mav 29, 1962, p. 22. 

Sylvester. David. ""Francis Bacon", Neic Statesman, London, June 22, 1962, p. 915, 916. 

"The Horrific Theme in Visual Art", The Times, London, May 29, 1962, p. 15. 

"The Horrific Vision of Mr. Francis Bacon", The Times, London, May 24, 1962. 

Kunsthalle, Mannheim, July 18-.August 26, 1962. 

Catalogue with introduction by Stephen Spender (in English and German) . 
Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin. September 11-October 14, 1962. 

Catalogue with foreword by V ittorio V iale, introduction by Luigi Carluccio, "Bacon, il portere e la gloria". 
Kunsthaus, Ziirich, October 27-November 25, 1962. 

Catalogue with foreword by Edward Riittinger (in German), introduction by Sir John Rothenstein (in English), article by 

Stephen Spender (in German). 
Stedelij'k Museum, Amsterdam. Januarv 11-Februarv 18, 1963. 

Introduction by Stephen Spender. 
1963 Marlborough Fine .Art Ltd., London, July-August. 

Catalogue with "Francis Bacon talking to David Sylvester" (shorter version of Sunday Times Magazine, July 14, 1963 interview) 


Brion, Marcel, and others. Art Since 1945, New York, Abrams. 1958. p. 235. 244, 248, 250. 

Brion, Marcel. .4rt Fantastique, Paris, 1961. 

"Francis Bacon", Konstrevy, Stockholm, no. 5-6, 1956, p. 206, 207. 

Haftmann, V^'erner. Painting in the Twentieth Century, New York, Praeger, 1960, p. 314, 322, 323, 326, 327, 328, 378. 

Harriman, V irginia. "A Disquieting Nude bv Francis Bacon", Detroit Institute of Art Bulletin, Detroit, vol. 36, no. 1, 1956-1957, p. 16, 18. 

Heron, Patrick. "Letter from London"', Magazine of .4rt, V^ashington, D. C. vol. 41, November, 1948, p. 277. 

McCurdy, Charles, ed. Modern Art, .A Pictorial .Anthology, New York, MacMillan, 1958, p. 45, 204. 

Melville, Robert. ""Contemporary British Painting"", Mizue, Tokyo. July, 1955, p. 3-5. (Text in English). 

""0 "humano' como medida de arte de Francis Bacon", Habitat, Sao Paulo, vol. 10, September, 1959, p. 64. 

Ponente, Nello. Contemporary Trends, Skira, Geneva, 1960, p. 106. 

Read. Herbert. Art Now, London, Faber & Faber, 1933, fig. 61. 

Read, Herbert. A Concise History of Modern Painting, London, Thames & Hudson, 1959. p. 144. 

Ritchie, Andrew Carnduff. The New Decade: 22 European Painters and Sculptors, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 1955, p. 60-64. 

Ritchie, -Andrew Carnduff. Masters of British Painting. 1800-1950. New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 1956. p. 146-152. 

Sek. Peter. New Images of Man, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 1959, p. 28-33. (French summary reprinted in VOeil, Lausanne, 

no. 62. Februarv, 1960, p. 50.) 
Smith, E. M. "Additions to the room of contemporarv art"', Buffalo Gallery Notes, Buffalo, vol. 20, October, 1956. p. 8-12. 
Soby, James Thrall. Contemporary Painters, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 1948, p. 145, 151. 
Soby, James Thrall. "Reg Butler and Francis Bacon", Saturday Revieiv, New York, vol. 38, May 7, 1955, p. 60-62. 
Soby, James Thrall. Modern Art and the New Past, Norman, Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma Press, 1957, p. 10, 12, 126-130. 
Spender, Stephen. ""English artists vs. English painting", .4rt Neivs, New York, vol. 52, November, 1953, p. 48. 
Spender, Stephen. ""English painting in the fifties". New Republic, V^'ashington, D. C, vol. 130, April 19, 1954, p. 16, 17. 
V^'ind, Edgar. Art and .inarchy, London, Faber & Faber, 1963, p. 132-134. 



Thomas M. Messer 


Associate Curator 
Assistant Curator 

Lawrence Alloway 
Louise Averill Svendsen 
Daniel Robbins 

Public Affairs 






Evelyn von Ripper 

Sally Ann Merz 

Arlene B. Dellis 

Orrin Riley and Saul Fuerstein 

Robert E. Mates 

Jean Xceron 

Business Administrator 
Administrative Assistant 
Office Manager 
Building Superintendent 
Head Guard 

Glenn H. Easton, Jr. 
Viola H. Gleason 
Agnes R. Connolly 
Peter G. Loggin 
George J . Sauve 

All photographs but the jollouing were made by Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London: 

Victor Amato: jVo. 20 

Oliver Baker: No. 41 

Sam Hunter: p. 21 

Robert E. Mates: Nos. 7, 40, 45 

Soichi Sunami: A os. 5, 34 

Elna Wilkinson : No. 5S 

The An Institute of Chicago: No. 27 

The Detroit Institute of Arts: No. 13 

City Art Gallery, Leeds: No. 9 

The Tate Gallery. London: ?ios. 1, 6, S, 16, 35 

The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.: No. 18 

Hanoier Gallery, London: Nos. 29, 32 

Galleria dell'.Ariete, Milan: No. 26 

Galleria Galatea, Turin: No. 4 

The following color plates were lent by: The Tate Gallery, London: Nos. 3, 12, 21, 52, 57 

Museo Civico di Torino: Nos. 19, 33 

E.xhibition 63/6 October, 1963~January, 1964 

3000 copies of this catalogue, designed by Herbert Matter, 

have been produced by Fred M. Kleeberg Associates 

in October 1963 

for the Trustees of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation 

on the occasion of this exhibition of Francis Bacon