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Francis Bacon: Man and Beast
Text by Stephen F. Eisenman, Catherine Howe, Michael Peppiatt, Anna Testar.

Despite his harsh habits of self-editing and a relatively late start, the British painter Francis Bacon produced a considerable body of work that continues to electrify. In 1969, Bacon became interested in bullfighting and painted a series of powerful works that evoke anguish and eroticism simultaneously in the contorted bodies of their beastly subjects. "Bullfighting is like boxing," Bacon once said. "A marvelous aperitif to sex.” Twenty-two years later, a single ghostly bull was the subject of his final painting. Ultimately, Bacon was most compelled by the human animal. His paintings frequently eschew the distinction between man and beast; he renders his human subjects as primitive creatures driven by base instincts such as pain and fear, while his animal subjects exude a strangely human sensibility.
This publication concentrates on the role of animals in Bacon’s work, with experts discussing his varied sources of inspiration, such as Surrealist literature and the photography of Eadweard Muybridge.

Royal Academy of Arts
Hardcover | 9 x 11” | 160 pgs