Twenty years after the artists death, this new publication presents a timely and rich overview of the life and work of Francis Bacon. The book includes some 60 paintings as well as photographs, ephemera and archival material largely drawn from the artists studio. An introduction and four essays by international experts look at specific aspects of Bacons work, from detailed analysis of archival material to a study of the influences of Marcel Duchamp. The paintings divide into a thematic chronology of five decades: the 1940s, which looks at the figure studies closely related to Bacons famous Three studies for figures at the base of a crucifixion; the 1950s, where his work is informed by Velazquez and van Gogh, but is also dominated by ambiguous, shadowy figures in sombre tones; the 1960s and 70s, which focus on the portraits and subsequent memorials to Bacons lover George Dyer, who died in 1971; the 1980s, while calmer and more naturalistic, reveal more haunted works which make reference to classical mythology and epic poetry. Each decade is defined by influences in his life and motifs which form part of an evolving pictorial language.
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