Francis Bacon
Two Owls, No. 1 c.1957–61

Artwork details

Francis Bacon 1909–1992
Two Owls, No. 1
Date c.1957–61
Medium Graphite and oil paint on paper
Dimensions Support: 270 x 340 mm
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
Not on display

Display caption

The works on paper in this display constitute the residue of one of Francis Bacon's dismembered sketchbooks. They reveal patterns of ideas and compositions which relate to paintings of the late 1950s.
The opening pages show various motifs, including falling figures comparable to the boxing images taken up elsewhere. The strange owls on two sheets relate to a complex personal iconography developed by Bacon, the religious aspects of which are powerfully suggested by the inscription on 'Two Owls, no.1': 'Collapsed image of Christ | Pool of Flesh'. Like the drawings themselves, this may be an annotation to be pursued in his paintings.

September 2004

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