Francis Bacon Nude Reading c.1957–61

Artwork details

Artist
Francis Bacon 1909–1992
Title
Nude Reading
Date c.1957–61
Medium Graphite and oil paint on paper
Dimensions Support: 254 x 190 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
T07383
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Catalogue entry

T07383

Ink and pencil on white wove paper
253 x 189 (10 x 7 7/16)
Watermarked ‘Telelinen | BRITISH MADE | NO 1 MILL’ upside down across centre
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 (36, reproduced in colour)

Like the other sheets from Bacon’s ‘Telelinen’ sketchbook, Nude Reading captures a figure with a minimum of brush lines. These loosely follow and reinforce guidelines in pencil, but are cursory in effect and achieve no appreciable setting. Rather unusually, the nude appears to be female. It may relate in general terms to images derived from photographs of Henrietta Moraes such as the painting Crouching Nude, 1961 (private collection),[1] where the figure is seen from the other side, which relates in turn to another sketch, Figure in a Framework (T07356).


Note:
This is one of the sheets from a sketchpad showing perforations along the left hand side and watermarked ‘Telelinen’; general issues relating to their creation and preservation are discussed in the entry on Man on a Bed (T07381).

Matthew Gale
February 1999


[1] Reproduced in Ronald Alley, Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné and Documentation, London 1964, [p.140], no.187

About this artwork