Francis Bacon Francis Bacon 1909-1992

Irish-British painter.
He lived in Berlin and Paris before settling in London (1929) to begin a career as an interior decorator. With no formal art training, he started painting, drawing, and participating in gallery exhibitions, with little success. In 1944 he achieved instant notoriety with a series of controversial paintings, Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion. His mature style emerged completely with the series of works known as “The Screaming Popes” (1949–mid-1950s), in which he converted Diego Velázquez's famous Portrait of Pope Innocent X into a nightmarish icon of hysterical terror. Most of Bacon's paintings depict isolated figures, often framed by geometric constructions, and rendered in smeared, violent colours. His imagery typically suggests anger, horror, and degradation.

Courtesy of Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 2003.