Francis Bacon (1909, Dublin – 1992, Madrid) was one of the greatest painters of the twentieth century, remained devoted to figuration and portraiture throughout his career. In his art, modernity and tradition converge.
Largely self-taught, moved to London when he was 16, then to Paris and Berlin in the following few years. During that time, he painted in watercolours, and upon returning to London, began working as a furniture and interior designer. In the 1940s, he pursued painting more seriously, and began creating works featuring macabre, homoerotic and violently expressive imagery.
His portraits and figurative works often pictured screaming, agonized, or caged figures, which solidifies his reputation as an overwhelmingly compelling observer of human nature. In the 1960s, Bacon painted many portraits featuring close-up views of his subject’s heads; he often worked in series, such as in his Popes or three-part series.
Since his death in 1992, his work has continued to grow in popularity, and has been featured in exhibitions at the Tate Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, among many other institutions.