12 of 47 portraits of Francis Bacon
by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 1951
8 in. x 7 3/4 in. (204 mm x 196 mm)
Accepted in lieu of tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Gallery, 1991
Artistback to top
- Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), Photographer, designer and writer. Artist associated with 1106 portraits, Sitter associated with 357 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Bacon had first attracted the public's notice in 1945 when his Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion was shown at the Lefevre Gallery in London. Beaton became friendly with Bacon and the group of artists who frequented the bars and restaurants of Soho during the 1950s, including Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach. After Freud's wedding reception in 1953, Beaton described in his diary how Bacon's body became 'like butter when he is drunk, but his mind more electric and alert'.
Placesback to top
- Place made and portrayed: United Kingdom: England, London (photographer's home, 8 Pelham Place, South Kensington, London)
Events of 1951back to top
Current affairsThe Conservative Party wins the general election and Winston Churchill returns for a second term as prime minister.
Art and scienceOn the centenary of the Great Exhibition of 1851, the Festival of Britain is held as a nationwide celebration of British culture, and as an impetus for post-war regeneration. As well as various art, science and industrial exhibitions and events, a major regeneration project was initiated for the South Bank area of London under the directorship of the architect, Hugh Casson.
InternationalLibya declares its sovereignty from Italian rule, becoming the first independent state to be created by the UN.
At the Treaty of San Francisco, 48 nations sign a peace treaty with Japan, officially ending the Pacific War - the last battleground of the Second World War.