Francis Bacon(1909-1992), Painter
Sitter in 43 portraits
Known as one of the twentieth-century's greatest painter, Dublin-born Bacon left Ireland at the age of sixteen, settling permanently in England in 1928. The work Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944, Tate) established him as an artist of international importance. Bacon used imagery from sources as diverse as Velasquez, Van Gogh, the cinema, old snapshots and illustrations of disease. Known for his bold, abstracted figurative paintings with their tormented and powerful view of the human condition, Bacon describes them as 'a direct assault on the nervous system.' His international reputation was confirmed by retrospectives at the Guggenheim Museum, New York (1963) and Grand Palais, Paris (1971).
Watch a film clip on the artist from the BBC Archive in the Media section below