Born in Dublin, Ireland to an English family in 1909, Francis Bacon (1909 -1992) is arguably one of the most distinctive and engaging figurative painters to emerge during the post-war period; he is renowned for his emotionally charged, raw imagery and fixation on personal motifs in his paintings drawings and prints.
Despite not receiving a formal training, Bacon gained instantaneous recognition in 1945 after an exhibition at Lefevre Gallery in London that included his seminal triptych Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944), sealing his reputation as a key chronicler of the existential, post-war human condition. Bacon's violently expressive figures are boldly rendered in oil as distorted, fleshy masses that are seemingly languishing in anguish; his grotesquely, shocking and unsettling images simultaneously repel and intrigue the viewer in equal and opposing measure. This paradox remains consistent with his print work, which he based on a selection of thirty-five of his own paintings dating from 1965-1991. Bacon worked with skilled printers to create his relatively small body of etchings and lithographs that total only about 40 editions.
In 2008 and 2009, a major retrospective of Bacon's paintings traveled to the Tate Britain, London, England (September 11, 2008- January 4, 2009), to the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain (February 3- April 19, 2009) and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (May 20- August 16, 2009). There was also a major retrospective of his work at Centre Pompidou in Paris, France (September 11, 2019 – January 20, 2020). Bacon's works are permanently part of public collections around the world, including the Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo, Norway; Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, Birmingham, England; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imbert, Caracas, Venezuela; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy; Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg, Austria; Sprengel Museum Hannover, Hannover, Germany; Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, Belgium; Tate Britain, London, England; and the Tate Modern, London, England.