(Far Left) Study After Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Oil on canvas.1953.
(Left) Painting 1946, Oil on linen. 1946.
(28 October 1909 – 28 April 1992)
Bacon was born in Dublin, Ireland to British parents, the second-oldest of five children; growing up, he relocated often between parts of Ireland and Great Britain. As a young child, he was very sickly, and often given morphine to soothe his asthma attacks. In his adolescent years, he was reported to have often cross-dressed in full makeup and regalia, often angering his father.
Although Bacon's family had an illustrious name (linked to Sir Nicholas Bacon, half brother of Sir Francis Bacon the philosopher,) Bacon preferred not to acknowledge it and instead set out to carve a name for himself. Bacon began painting during his early twenties and worked only into his mid-thirties, which was then very sporadic. Prior to this, he earned his living as an interior decorator and designer of furniture and rugs.
His breakthrough came with the 1944 triptych Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion. This style, also present in his other works of the late 1940s, continued into the early 1960s and sealed his reputation as a notably bleak chronicler of the human condition.