Francis Bacon was a figurative painter known for his bold and graphic imagery. Bacon was born in Dublin on Baggot Street, to parents of British descent.
Francis Bacon travelled to London in 1925 and although he received no formal art training, he created a sensation in 1945 when he exhibited his Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion at the Lefevre Gallery in London. His work was Expressionist in style, and his distorted human forms were unpleasant. He developed his style and gloomy subject matter during the 1950s, when he achieved an international reputation.
Aside from his images of unsettling corrupt and disgusting humanity, Bacon deliberately challenged artistic conventions by using the format of Renaissance altarpieces to show the evils of man, rather than the virtues of Christ. In Pope Innocent X he reworked a famous portrait by Velazquez into a screaming mask of angst.
In 1974, Bacon met John Edwards, with whom he formed one of his most enduring friendships. In April 1992, Francis Bacon was admitted to a private clinic in Madrid, where he had been holidaying. His chronic asthma, had developed into a respiratory condition. He died of cardiac arrest, attempts to resuscitate him having failed. He left his entire estate to John Edwards. Edwards, in turn, donated the contents of Francis Bacon's chaotic studio at 7 Reece Mews, South Kensington, to the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin.
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