Francis Bacon Artist ~ Art History ~ 20th Century ~ 154 Slides
This is a complete, highly visual powerpoint presentation about artist Francis Bacon. There are 20 actual slides in the preview.
If you are confusing Francis Bacon, the artist, with Francis Bacon, the Lord Chancellor of England, these wildly different individuals were actually related. The artist of the 20th century was a collateral descendant of the one born in 1561. The artist was even named after the statesman.
They were both born extremely gifted. The modern one in art while the ancestor was a philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, and author.
Francis Bacon the artist was born in 1909 to English parents who were living in Dublin, Ireland. He was raised in both Ireland and England. He suffered from asthma, which did not have any treatments then. The result was that Bacon was home schooled and received no formal art training. Perhaps this was for the best though. Formal art training might have interfered with his startling originality.
When Bacon reached age 17, he broke with his parents since they would not accept his being gay. It was the 1920s and most people, most relatives, acted the same way about gay sexuality. They thought such a person was a sick deviant.
Ireland could not be a worse place to be located for such a young man. England was hardly accepting but it was better for him than Ireland. Bacon thought of himself as an Irish born Englishman and not as an Irishman. During his career, he was always referred to as an Irish born English painter.
Like many artists before and after him, Bacon acquired a major muse. This was his gay lover in the 1960s, George Dyer. He met Dyer in 1963 while Dyer was trying to rob him. Dyer was a low level criminal, alcoholic and drug user.
Dyer committed suicide in 1971 but he remained a strong influence on Bacon’s art. He was the love of Bacon’s life and Bacon was haunted and obsessed by his death. This came through in Bacon’s art.
Bacon:"One of the pictures I did in 1946, which was the thing that's in the Museum of Modern Art ..."
Interviewer:"The butcher-shop picture."
Bacon:"Yes. It came to me as an accident. I was attempting to make a bird alighting on a field. And it may have been bound up in some way with the three forms that had gone before, but suddenly the line that I had drawn suggested something totally different and out of this suggestion arose this picture. I had no intention to do this picture; I never thought of it in that way. It was like one continuous accident mounting on top of another."
Excerpt 3: Bacon painted this in very specific memory of his lover George Dyer. Dyer committed suicide on the eve of the artist's retrospective at Paris's Grand Palais in October 1971. Shown are the moments before Dyer's death. He took an overdose of pills in their hotel room. Bacon never completely recovered from it. He lived another 21 years.
Excerpt 4: Bacon painted three Greek tragedies: Prometheus, the Eumenides and Orestes. Unlike Greek tragedy though, there is no resolution of plot and thus no catharsis. Michael Peppiatt wrote in 1996, ”From this stasis no outcome is possible, no purging of the turbulent passions, almost as if, in his deep seated masochism, the artist had chosen constant pain over catharsis.”
Francis Bacon: “I loathe my own face. . . . I’ve done a lot of self-portraits, really because people have been dying around me like flies and I’ve nobody else left to paint but myself.”
In his 1979-1980 triptych self portrait, Bacon's head emerges from endless black. We can only focus on the face itself and the trauma it has been through. Bacon has perfected his film motion movements by now. He turns slowly and we view him as if in a long panning shot.