A lot of you might think of the philosopher, but that is not who we are going to talk about in this article.
There was another Francis Bacon, who was named after the philosopher and British Chancellor who, as the artist’s father claimed, was their ancestor born in 1909 in Dublin, Ireland an artist known for his unorthodox, borderline disturbing paintings.
A lot of his paintings were portraits of faces disfigured from some form of emotional suffering which his life was certainly full of. He derived inspiration for his paintings from an array of landscapes. For example he derived inspiration for one of his paintings from a nurse screaming in the movie battleship potemkin molded with his own fascinating imagination.
Bacon was asthamatic and from a young age was very much in touch with his feminine side, his homosexuality was beginning to transpire and his family, especially his father considered it an abomination and Bacon, at the age of 16, was dismissed from his house. He went to London afterwards, where he did a couple of odd jobs just trying to make ends meet. Francis Bacon later started living with an art connoisseur, in France whom he met at an exposition. It was in France where the idea of becoming a painter started to grow on him. The Spanish painter Pablo Picasso was a major influence for Bacon, he was extremely in awe of the way Picasso’s ability to imagine and the uncanny geometry he used, the fragments of which can be slightly seen in Bacon’s work.
Francis Bacon completed his first painting called crucifixion in 1933 and this brought him some success. But things did not run so smoothly for him after his artistic debut, his career saw a decline from here. His subsequent paintings did not receive critical or commercial success, instead his paintings were being criticised at this time.
Bacon did not release any of his work to the public for a while after this. During this time he was extremely self critical of his work, and was dissatisfied with almost all of it until he released his painting Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion in 1944 at an exhibition which enticed a lot of attention back to him. From this point onwards Bacon saw substantial success.
Bacon went on to make paintings such as Painting, 1946, Head I, 1948, Head VI, 1949 and perhaps his most famous, a painting inspired from Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X by the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez.
All his paintings till now had very similar color scheming, he used quite dark, gloomy colors for a lot of his work and all of them possess an enigmatic whiff to them. His paintings seem like a hybrid of something so familiar yet something that can still manage to evade one’s imagination.
During all this while Bacon’s transformation could be seen through his paintings, his work was evolving as the years passed by and was being deeply affected by his personal experiences as one would expect.