Segments in this Video

"Real Paintings" (04:10)


Francis Bacon depicted critical analysis of himself, his friends, and the human body during his career. After returning from Berlin, he worked and lived in London. Bacon's studio and its contents have been reconstructed at the Hugh Lane Gallery.

Bacon's Early Career (06:19)

A painting should be a reconstruction of an event rather than an illustration of an object; it requires tension. Death comes into everything an individual does. Derek Jacobi reads quotations from Bacon's writings.

Bacon's Inspirations (06:07)

Works include "Figure with Monkey," "Study of a Dog," "Study for Portrait," and several Pope studies. Bacon links animal and human movements. Images, more than words, release his creativity.

Painting Influences (05:19)

Works include "Study for the Nurse from Battleship Potemkin," "Figure Study I," "Study for Portrait of Van Gogh VI," and "Homage to Van Gogh." Art lies in the struggle to come toward the sensory side of objects. Paint transforms the image.

Photography and Cinema (05:24)

Photography alters figure painting in a positive manner and allows the artist to focus on the sensibility of the project rather than the object. Works include "Triptych 1972," "Paralytic Child Walking on All Fours," "Woman Emptying a Bowl of Water/ Paralytic Child Walking on all Fours," and "Study for a Human Body: Man Turning on the Light." Michelangelo and Muybridge influenced Bacon's paintings.

Portraits (05:03)

Works include "Portrait of Lucian Freud," "Head of a Woman," "Double Portrait of Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach," "Three Studies of Isabel Rawsthorne," and "Portrait of Lisa." Bacon wants to capture personality in his paintings and prefers to work from photographs. Distortion is required to transform appearance into image.

Self-Portraits (02:44)

Works include "Posthumous Portrait of George Dyer," "Self-Portrait," "Portrait of Lucian Freud" and "Three Studies for a Self-Portrait." Jean Cocteau sees death at work daily. The love of somebody else is love for oneself.

Triptychs (05:19)

Works include "Triptych Inspired by T.S. Eliot's Poem Sweeney Agonistes," "Triptych in Memory of George Dyer," and "Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus." Bacon enjoys juxtaposing images on three canvases. People should read what they like in the images.

7 Reece Mews (04:42)

Bacon enjoys working in chaos. Works include "Three Studies of the Male Back," "Three figures and Portrait," and "Triptych." Instinct comes from the moment of conception.

Bacon's Sexuality (06:43)

Works include "Portrait of John Edwards," "Study from the Human Body and Portrait," and "Figure with Meat." All reality is pain. Bacon discusses his sexuality and spirituality in his paintings.

Credits: The Art of Francis Bacon (00:50)

Credits: The Art of Francis Bacon

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The Art of Francis Bacon

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3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Francis Bacon is the essential British painter of the twentieth century. From the end of the Second World War until his death in 1992, he created an extraordinary body of intense and uncompromising figure paintings and portraits. Drawing on diverse influences including Picasso, Velasquez’s portrait of Pope Innocent X, the photographs of Eadweard Muybridge and Sergei Eisenstein’s film Battleship Potemkin, Bacon undertook a pitiless analysis in paint of himself and his friends, of the human body, and of our place in a godless universe. This film explores many of his key canvases which have been newly filmed in HDTV. The works are complemented solely with Bacon’s own words, recorded by Derek Jacobi. The artist’s biography is outlined, but the focus is on his ideas: his thoughts about his work, his reflections about how and why he paints. The result is a rigorous and revealing portrait of one of the few artists who has truly changed the way we see and understand ourselves.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL194759

ISBN: 978-1-64623-810-1

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

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