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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Francis Bacon - Figure Writing Reflected in Mirror


Figure Writing Reflected in a Mirror shows a male figure in white underwear who bears a distinct resemblance to the artist's lover George Dyer, who, with breathtaking timing, killed himself on the eve of Bacon's important retrospective at the Grand Palais, Paris, in October 1971. The black sweep of hair resembles Bacon, so it can be interpreted as representing both artist and lover.


Dublin-born Bacon was hugely inspired by literature, whether the Oresteia or TS Eliot, and the figure writing, with crumpled paper on the floor, would seem to be a direct manifestation of the artist's obsession with the written word. No other Bacon canvas has someone writing.

Francis Bacon - Study of a Bull (1991)


It could be a bull backing in to a burning, black void or one escaping it, moving hopefully into the heavenly light. What seems certain is that this final, extraordinary painting by Francis Bacon, unseen and undocumented until now, is by an artist who knows he will soon die.


The art historian Martin Harrison on Tuesday revealed Bacon’s final completed painting – a work that has never been publicly seen, reproduced, discussed or written about. Residing in a “very private, private collection” in London, Study of a Bull. 1991, only came to light as Harrison worked on editing a catalogue of every work by Bacon, due to be published in April.


Harrison said it was Bacon painting his own death, just as he was in his final Triptych 1991, which is in the collection of MoMA in New York. “Bacon is ready to sign off ... he was so ill,” he said. “He knew exactly what he was doing here. Is the bull making an entrance? Is he receding to somewhere else? To his cremation?”


Most of the two-metre-high painting is deliberately raw canvas. Underneath the bull Bacon has used real dust from his famously shambolic studio in South Kensington. “To me that is terribly poignant,” said Harrison. “He often used to say: ‘Dust is eternal, after all we all return to dust.’”


From The Guardian

Francis Bacon - Triptych - August 1972


This work is generally considered one in a series of Black Triptychs which followed the suicide of Bacon’s lover, George Dyer. Dyer appears on the left and Bacon is on the right.The central group is derived from a photograph of wrestlers by Edward Muybridge, but also suggests a more sexual encounter. The seated figures and their coupling are set against black voids and the central flurry has been seen as ‘a life-and-death struggle’. The artist’s biographer wrote: ‘What death has not already consumed seeps incontinently out of the figures as their shadows.’


May 2007