Francis Bacon Head c.1957–61

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Artwork details

Artist
Francis Bacon 1909–1992
Title
Head
Date c.1957–61
Medium Oil paint on paper
Dimensions Support: 340 x 270 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund and a group of anonymous donors in memory of Mario Tazzoli 1998
Reference
T07373
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

T07373

Oil on white wove paper
340 x 270 (13 3/8 x 10 5/8)

Purchased from Paul Danquah and Peter Pollock with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Art Collections Fund and a group of anonymous donors in memory of Mario Tazzoli, 1998


Provenance:
Acquired from the artist (by 1961)

Exhibited:
Francis Bacon: Working on Paper, Tate Gallery, London, February-April 1999 (23, reproduced in colour)

Head is the most abbreviated of the drawings from Bacon’s spiral bound sketchbook. It consists of a handful of lines in black oil paint, which may denote the head and shoulders of a figure with an arm draped over the back of a chair. Several paintings, such as Study for Figure VI, 1956-7 (Hatton Gallery, Newcastle),[1] use a comparable pose but with the shoulders square-on and the sitter’s left arm habitually drawn with a descending smear of paint quite different from the sketch. The reverse of the sheet bears an orange off-print from Figure Lying, no.1 (T07374).


Note:
This is one of twenty-six works on paper from the same spiral bound sketchbook showing perforations along the left hand side; general issues relating to their creation and preservation are discussed in the entry on Two Owls, no.1 (Tate Gallery T07355).

Matthew Gale
February 1999


[1] Reproduced in Ronald Alley, Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné and Documentation, London 1964, [p.211], no.123

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