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This painting is thought to be based on a photograph of Bacon’s lover Eric Hall wearing a flannel suit dozing on a seat in Hyde Park. A substantial section of the body has been overpainted, suggesting a black void. An open mouth can be discerned speaking into microphone, a detail that may have derived from photographs of Nazi leaders giving speeches. The pastoral setting is therefore contrasted with the intimations of organised political violence, making this an early example of Bacon’s combination of aggression and everyday mundane reality.

July 2010