Francis Bacon: In the Mirror of Photography
Collecting, Preparatory Practice and Painting
De Gruyter, 2022
The British painter Francis Bacon (1909–1992) is famed for his idiosyncratic mode of depicting the human figure. Thirty years after his death, his working methods remain underexplored. New research on the Francis Bacon Studio Archive at Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, sheds light on the genesis of his works, namely the photographic source material he collected in his studios, on which he consistently based his paintings. The book brings together the artist’s pictorial springboards for the first time, delineating and interpreting recurring patterns and methods in his preparatory work and adoption of photographic material. In addition, it correctly locates ‘chance’ as a driving force in Bacon’s working method and qualifies the significance of photography for the painter.