Self Portrait – Francis Bacon

Title: Self Portrait

Artist: Francis Bacon

Year: 1971

Medium: Oil on canvas

Francis Bacon, the artist, paints provocative and disturbing images that carry a raw sense of anxiety and alienation. They reflect that existential fear, loathing and incomprehension at the atrocities of the Holocaust that came to light at the end of World War Two.

Francis Bacon was was born in Dublin on 28 October 1909, the second of five children. He often came into violent conflict with his intolerant and authoritarian father who was a horse trainer and major in the British Army. After irreconcilable differences over his sexuality, he left home at the age of sixteen to live with an uncle in Berlin. The Berlin that he arrived in was a melting pot for radical social and political ideas and had evolved as the capital of European culture in the 1920’s.

His art was influenced by Surrealist abstraction but it did not gain much critical success. Around 1944, he destroyed most of the work he had produced to date as he believed that it failed to communicate the way he felt about the world.

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