Francis Bacon
Study for Portrait on Folding Bed 1963

Artwork details

Francis Bacon 1909–1992
Study for Portrait on Folding Bed
Date 1963
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1981 x 1473 mm
frame: 2198 x 1690 x 82 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1963
Not on display

Display caption

The body is often highly distorted in Bacon’s paintings. In this picture, for example, parts of the head and lower body are almost illegible. Bacon has used texture and visceral colours to describe the flesh, bone and blood of the head. The dribbles and splatters of paint are reminiscent of leaking bodily fluids, bringing attention to the physical material of the body and suggesting violence.

The art historian David Mellor has argued that such pictures share much with Walter Sickert’s Camden Town paintings of prostitutes on beds ‘where gross, abject matter was well to the fore’.

July 2008

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