Friday, April 3, 2015

Francis Bacon’s vision of the Crucifixion

By Thierry Morel
Double cross … Francis Bacon and Alonso Cano’s Crucifixions, from 1933 and 1638 respectively. Photograph: © The Estate of Francis Bacon/DACS 2015; The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
Francis Bacon never hid his fascination with the art of the past. His love of the work of the old masters was personal, but he also believed that the study of their art should be a prerequisite for all contemporary painters. The selection of paintings and sculptures in the forthcoming exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich, many of which have never before been shown in the UK, is taken almost exclusively from the collection of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg and dates from ancient times to the 20th century. The earliest painting by Bacon in the exhibition, the Crucifixion of 1933, while typifying the artist’s fascination with the theme of Christ’s Passion, is evidence of his more general interest in morbid subjects. Although baptised and – at least in theory – educated as an Anglican, he always described himself as an agnostic. [link]