Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Crucifixion, 1962. Oil on canvas. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2017. All rights reserved. Catalogue Raisonné Number 62-04.

Last month, to mark the 108th anniversary of Francis Bacon’s birth, the English Heritage honoured him with a blue plaque at his chaotic London studio-home 7 Reece Mews, South Kensington. One of the most famous works that he painted there was Three Studies for a Crucifixion, 1962. We delve into the ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ to find out some things you may not know about the piece:

Did you know the left panel was repainted in March 1962 having originally been white, pale in colour? The portraits title, ‘has proved resistant to interpretation, as though its transgressive content abrogated the possibility of defining the iconography of the triptych’. 

The genuinely violent nature of the painting comes to light as the right panel ‘was influenced by Cimabue’s Crucifixion’, which ‘reminded him of a worm crawling down a cross’

Rolf Laessoe contended that ‘the figure on the right, dressed in a black body stocking or tights, referred to Bacon’s claim that he was expelled from the family home in 1926’.

Excerpts: Martin Harrison, FSA. 62-04 Three Studies for a Crucifixion, 1962. Catalogue Raisonné Volume III, page 682-687.

If you’d like to order a copy of the ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ please visit Heni Publishing’s website.




Image: Foundation exterior, © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All Rights Reserved – MB Art Collection.
Image: Foundation exterior, © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All Rights Reserved – MB Art Collection.

The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation Monaco present their first sponsored project: ‘Francis Bacon – The Wivenhoe Chapter’.

Art historian Katharina Günther undertook a twelve-month research project analysing previously unresearched material. The project aims to deepen the understanding of the relationship between Bacon and the artist Denis Wirth Miller.

Over 250 pieces of unstudied working material from the MB Art Collection including books, magazines and torn pages, formed the project’s starting point. The materials originated from artist Denis Wirth Miller’s small studio in Wivenhoe Essex. Katharina Günther’s project is a fascinating read outlining the relationship between Bacon and Wirth Miller, exploring shared passions and shared workspaces, with Bacon known to have enjoyed working at Wirth Miller’s studio.

With its strong resemblance to his London studio, the overall set-up of Wirth Miller’s Wivenhoe atelier must have been to Bacon’s liking. For almost 25 years, he shared the small, cluttered space with Wirth Miller on a regular basis until in 1975, Bacon bought his own property close to his friend’s house. In the working environment provided by Wirth Miller, Bacon had found an artistic home away from home. – Katharina Günther

Katharina Günther explores Bacon’s lasting impression on Wirth Miller’s work, as the latter experimented with Bacon’s subjects and styles in the 1950s, notably a series of Dog paintings in the manner of Francis Bacon’s Study of a Dog, 1952 and Man with Dog, 1953. Read more about ‘Francis Bacon – The Wivenhoe Chapter’ here.

The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation’s mission is to promote a deeper understanding of the work and life of Francis Bacon worldwide, with a particular focus on the time that the artist lived and worked in Monaco and Southern France. This institute aims to: support original research, sponsor emerging artists, organise exhibitions and seminars on Francis Bacon with local and international institutions, and fund projects related to the artist. Find more information via the foundation’s website:

Word reference: Katharina Günther’s ‘The Wivenhoe Chapter – Francis Bacon and Denis Wirth Miller’, and the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation Monaco website.

Francis Bacon Online Shop: New Look!

To respond to the ever-changing world of web design, the Francis Bacon Shop has undergone a major upgrade including a complete redesign of its main pages. The task undertaken by FJB Design successfully resulted in a website that is both elegant, tasteful and, last but by no means least, easy to navigate.  Those who were acquainted with the previous version will undoubtedly appreciate its new look and added features. The navigation has been dramatically improved and switching from one language to another -the site is available in English, French and Spanish- could not be easier.

The launch of the new website, which went live on Tuesday 25th September at 8pm, coincide with the forthcoming launch of the new t-shirt featuring Francis Bacon’s ‘Study for a Portrait of John Edwards 1989’.





Francis Bacon Symposium: Francis Bacon’s Books

A collaboration between Trinity College Dublin History of Art Department and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane

Funded by IRCHSS

Friday 19 and Saturday 20 October 2012

Francis Bacon's 7 Reece Mews, London, 1998. Photo by Perry Ogden © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved.

Francis Bacon had a voracious interest in books, and his range of interests is evident in the substantial collection he amassed, on subjects as diverse as art history, literature, photography, history, politics, philosophy, cinema, sport, crime, medicine, languages, and travel. The personal library of an artist is widely recognised as an invaluable resource for understanding their work, and there is ample evidence that this was the case for Bacon. His studio was piled with books, and littered with loose leaves torn from them for reference. Evidence indicates that he plundered these for ideas and forms, both from the images and text, liberally interpreting them for his own purposes, and there is much remaining to be explored.

This symposium is presented as a stage in the joint project between the History of Art Department, TCD and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. Generously funded by the Government of Ireland via the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) the project is led by Barbara Dawson, Director of Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, and Yvonne Scott, Head of the History of Art Department, TCD. The book collection has been comprehensively digitally catalogued drawing on the expertise of Dr Margarita Cappock, Head of Collections, Hugh Lane Gallery, and of Dr Monika Keska, Post-doctoral fellow from the University of Granada and Research assistant to the project.

Francis Bacon’s Books is available online.  See Hugh Lane website and Trinity College website

For general queries about the symposium, contact Dr Monika Keska:

The symposium is open to the public and the attendance is free of charge. All are welcome

Francis Bacon's 7 Reece Mews, London, 1998. Photo by Perry Ogden © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved.

‘The Grotesque Factor’ – Museo Picasso Málaga, Spain

Artists: Leonardo da Vinci, Francisco de Goya, James Ensor, Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon…

Francis Bacon (1909–1992) Study for a Portrait (Pope) 1957 Oil on canvas 152.5 x 118 cm Sammlung Lambrecht-Schadeberg / Rubenspreistäger der Stadt Siegen im Museum für Gegenwartskunst Inv. III, 5

What is the grotesque in art? At times it has been described as the exaggerated, on occasion compared to the deformed, and at others to the satirical or even the incongruous.  Museo Picasso Málaga takes a close look at the subject in The Grotesque Factor, an exhibition that examines the meaning and evolution of this category of aesthetics at various points in Western art history.

Leonardo da Vinci, Francisco de Goya, James Ensor, Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Otto Dix, Willem de Kooning and Francis Bacon are just a few of the almost 80 international artists who created the more than 250 works brought together for the occasion. The works are technically and formally diverse and are seen on display together here for the first time. They share with one another an element of the grotesque, which has been defined in this exhibition as an artist’s view of the world, a mindset that has been expressed in very different ways over the years.

The exhibition is curated by José Lebrero Stals, artistic director of MPM. The academic advisor is Luis Puelles, professor of Aesthetics and Art Theory at the University of Malaga. This project will be possible thanks to the loans and generosity of private collections and art galleries, and the close involvement of museums in Europe and America.

‘The Grotesque Factor’ Museo Picasso Málaga, Spain

22nd October 2012-10th February 2013

Francis Bacon and the Existential Condition in Contemporary Art

Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze
Curated by: Franziska Nori, Barbara Dawson

Artists: Francis Bacon, Nathalie Djurberg, Adrian Ghenie, Arcangelo Sassolino, Chiharu Shiota, Annegret Soltau

Body, memory, and identity: this exhibition presents work by artists who examine the existential state of contemporary society’s collective mindset, exploring the kind of questions man asks himself in relationship to his own interior being and the outside world.
At the core of the exhibition are a selection of paintings by Francis Bacon set against some unfinished works by the artist – on display in Italy for the very first time – and a selection of photographic and archival material from the artist’s studio, presented thanks to a collaboration with the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.

Bacon’s mingling of the figurative and the abstract, his bodies transfigured, his reference to autobiographical elements, his use of a variety of different iconographic sources and of tension and isolation as metaphors of human life are also present in the work of the five contemporary artists chosen to dialogue with each other in an effort to trigger an existential reflection on contemporary living.

Francis Bacon e la condizione esistenziale nell’arte contemporanea
Francis Bacon and the Existential Condition in Contemporary Art
5 October 2012 – 27 January 2013
Palazzo Strozzi
Piazza degli Strozzi 50123 Florence, Italy

Info:, T. +39 055 2645155

Press Release “Francis Bacon: Five Decades”

Francis Bacon
five decades

Francis Bacon Three studies for a self-portrait 1979–80, oil on canvas, triptych 37.5 × 31.8 cm each, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. DACS/Licensed by Viscopy. Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resources/Scala, Florence

Surveying Francis Bacon’s life and work, this is the first major exhibition in Australia of rare works by the master of post-war British art.

With over 50 paintings as well as archival material from his studio, films and photographs, the exhibition covers every decade of his career, from the pensive and shocking works of the 1940s to the exuberantly coloured and visceral large paintings of the 1970s and 80s.

As well as the sensual enjoyment of paint, Bacon’s work speaks of violence, from depictions of a screaming pope to crucifixions, animals and carcasses, ancient Greek figures and distorted, emotionally charged portraits of his close friends and lovers.

Curated by the Art Gallery of NSW, the exhibition has been four years in the making, with works drawn from private collections and Australian and international institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Tate Modern in London, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and the Francis Bacon Estate.

The length of the exhibition has been extended by one week:

17 November 2012 – 24th February 2013
Tickets on sale at the museum late July 2012

Click here to download Press Release