Francis Bacon The Pope


Francis bacon was born in 1909 on the 28th of October. His artwork involves distortion, his portraits such as this one are distorted in a way that makes them visually more disturbing, raw and provocative. In his art he smears exaggerated flesh tones that breed expressions of fear, anxiety, loathing and absolute grotesque horror.

Francis bacon was born in Dublin Ireland whilst being born in Ireland Bacon was from British heritage and defined as an Irish born British man. Francis bacon’s father who could be described as an authoritarian figure was a horse trainer and a major in the British army. His father was reported to be very violent towards bacon and after much conflict about matters involving francis’s sexuality he left home this occurred in his teenage years between the ages 16 and 17. This possibly helped influence Bacon’s work. After running away he moved to Berlin to live with his uncle . Innovators, artists and intellectuals were thriving in Berlin at this time. Very radical social and political ideas were brewing. This was know as the Weimar republic years. The culture was very chaotic perhaps influencing a essensence of the radical chaoticness in his artwork? After seeing an exhibition of Picasso in Paris he decided to move there. This was in 1928 the same year the first Disney cartoon came out. Thinking of Picasso’s I can see comparisons between his and Francis bacon’s work. for example  they both distort portraits. I can see ways he has been influenced by him. A year later 1929 when the Wall Street crashed starting of the Great Depression he moved to London and opened up an art studio. Bacon painted heverly post world war 2 and as the nazi death camps were emerging. In this artwork though it’s more dominant themes are of a religious nature and the reacting between christianity and his sexuality he seems to capture expressions inspired by what I imagine the horror of those camps to be like. This painting is of the pope being tortured in certain ways, perhaps bacon has a hatred towards the pope inspired by his homosexuality.francis bacon’s subject matter was often based on real or traditional images such as photographs, film strips, X rays, newspapers and even  old paintings.


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