Catalogue entry


Ballpoint pen 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

Acquired from the artist (by 1961)

Francis Bacon: Working on Paper, Tate Gallery, London, February-April 1999 (17, reproduced in colour)

One of the briefest drawings to emerge from Bacon’s spiral bound sketchbook, Standing Figure shows a half bending nude leaning or reaching up with one arm in contradictory motions. Of indefinable sex, the nude may be washing, showering or undertaking some equally intimate activity. The lines of the legs continue as an impression even as the ink peters out, a tailing-off which speaks for the notational quality of the drawing. As such it may be compared with Seated Figure (T07364) and the intervening pages from the sketchbook (T07365, T07366), all of which suggest tentative and preliminary ideas for compositions. By contrast, the pink off-print on the reverse confirms that it was followed in the sequence by the heavily painted Figure with Foot in Hand (T07368), which demonstrates the confidence common to the sketches in paint

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