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Francis Bacon  (1909 - 1992)

Nationality:BritishApproach:Figurative and Expressionistic His subject is the human condition, vulnerable and alienated.
1909, 28 October: Born in a Dublin nursing home.
1914-18: During the First World War, Bacon's family moves to London, where his father has a job in the War Office. After the war, the family lived in various country houses in England and Ireland.
1926: Left the family home at Straffan Lodge, County Kildare, after a row with his father. Lived in London for several months.
1927-28: Traveled around Europe, going first to Berlin and then to Paris, where he started to draw and paint after seeing an exhibition of Picasso's drawings.
1928-29: Returned to London, where he designs modernist furniture and carpets, and also does some painting. Meet Eric Hall, with whom he is to have a close relationship for at least fifteen years.
1930: The Studio publishes a feature about Bacon's furniture designs.
1932-33: Moved to the Fulham Road and then to Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea, where he painted Crucifixion, his first significant work.
1936: His work is rejected for the International Surrealist Exhibition by one of the show's organizers, Roland Penrose, who considered it insufficiently surrealist.
1939: With the outbreak of the Second World War, Bacon volunteers for Civil Defence and works full time in the ARP until forced to resign in 1942 because of his worsening asthma, from which he has suffered from childhood. Moved out of London to live in a cottage in Hampshire, which he rented with Eric Hall.
1942-46: Returned to London, where he moves into the ground floor of 7 Cromwell Place, South Kensington, a house in which John Everett Millais used to live. Painted his first major works, beginning with Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, 1944. The following year, at a mixed exhibition at the Lefevre Gallery, this painting causes an uproar.
1946-49: Stays in Monte Carlo for a time.
1948: The Museum of Modern Art, New York, buys Painting, 1946.
1950-51: Visited mother and sisters in Southern Africa. In London, meet Peter Lacy, a former fighter and test pilot, with whom he has a long and tempestuous relationship, and with whom he spends lengthy periods in Tangier.
1951: Left Cromwell Place, and for the next ten years works from a number of studios in London, most of them borrowed from friends.
1961: Moved into 7 Reece Mews, which remained his principal home and studio until his death.
1962: Painted his first big triptych, The Studies for a Crucifixion.
1963: Became involved with George Dyer, who inspired many of his finest paintings of the male nude.
1974: Meet John Edwards, with whom he had a lasting friendship.
1992, 28 April: Died from a heart attack in Madrid while visiting a young friend there. Named John Edwards as his sole heir.


1924-26: Studied at Dean Close School, a boarding school in Cheltenham


1966: Winner of the Rubens prize from the town of Siegen, Germany.

Biographical Notes

Details from Francis Bacon in Dublin, Thames and Hudson 2000 Exhibition held at Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin Curator - David Sylvester

Works by Francis Bacon 

Study for the Human Body: Man turning on the light
Francis Bacon 1974

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