Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992)

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Francis Bacon was a British painter, known for his abstracted figures and bold imagery. It is believed that Bacon was related to Sir Nicholas Bacon, the half-brother of Sir Francis Bacon.

The Irish-born painter grew up in Dublin, under the close attention of a family nurse. Bacon’s family moved back and forth between Ireland and England several times. Bacon often felt socially out of place and distanced from his father as he displayed effeminate personality traits from an early age. Bacon was known to dress in drag at costume parties, which outraged his family and associates. Bacon attended a boarding school for a brief amount of time before quitting in 1926.

After leaving school, Bacon moved around Europe, working odd jobs and reading influential literature such as Nietzsche. Bacon first moved to London, followed by Berlin and Paris. It was in Paris that Bacon’s interest in art greatly escalated. He visited galleries frequently and stayed in the Montparnasse area.

By 1929 Bacon returned to London where he became employed as an interior designer and rented a studio. At this point as his artistic work began to develop, Bacon made important connections with collectors. During the winter of 1929 Bacon had his first show at the Queensberry Mews West studio. Bacon maintained his London studio until 1931, at which point he spent several years moving to various spaces.

In 1934 Bacon had his first solo show at Transition Gallery, in which he exhibited oil and gouache paintings. For a short while Bacon volunteered for the Civil Defense, but was soon discharged due to his asthmatic condition. After 1944 Bacon’s paintings became to take on a mature and developed look. Bacon began to show frequently and sell his paintings for significant sums. By 1948 one of his works titled Painting, 1946 was sold to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. During the next several decades Bacon’s popularity continued to spread. As Bacon’s paintings sold he had numerous affairs both extravagant and painful. In 1974 Bacon forged one of his most meaningful relationships with a man named John Edwards.

In 1992 Bacon died of a heart attack while on a holiday in Spain. Bacon left his entire estate to John Edwards and his studio contents to the Barry Joule Archive in Dublin (now in the collection of the Tate Museum). The paintings of Francis Bacon have been at the top of the market for decades, and are highly sought after by collectors internationally.

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