Date and Place of Birth:
28th October 1909, Dublin, Ireland.
Francis Bacon was the son of English parents.
His father, Anthony Edward Mortimer Bacon had been born in Adelaide,
Australia and was an officer in the British Army. On retirement
he had become a trainer of horses. His mother was Winifred Christina
Loxley Firth whose family had made a fortune in the steel industry.
Little formal education as his family never stayed
in any one place for long due to an Army lifestyle.
Chronology/Biography of Francis
His early years were beset by illnesses and allergies
and he was not expected to live till the age of twenty one. It was
later found that he was allergic to horses and dogs much to the
annoyance of his father who was an outdoor type who liked hunting.
Bacon grew to despise his father.
1914: His father
was given a post in the War office in London during the First World
War so the whole family moved there.
1918: Bacon returned
to Ireland but the family were worried about reprisals from the
IRA (Irish Republican Army).
1925: He was thrown
out of home by his father with a small allowance as his father had
caught him dressed in his mother's clothing. He moved to London
and stayed in a series of rented rooms. He worked as a painter and
1927: Began painting
in watercolours. Traveled to Berlin with a relative and was highly
influenced by the violent images then being portrayed in german
art. He particularly admired also the work of the Bauhaus group.
1929: Bacon began
painting in oils. He moved on to Paris where he saw the work of
Picasso. He also saw the Surrealist films by Luis Bunuel "Un
Chien Andalou" and "L'Age D'or" both of which are
memorable for their violent imagery. He returned to London and made
a living as a furniture designer but he also began to paint although
he had had no formal training. He had to take other jobs to make
ends meet such as a switchboard operator, odd job man And a valet.
1930: Held his first
exhibition, a joint studio show with his friend Roy De Maistre.
1933: Bacon held
exhibitions at the Mayor Galleries. Painted "Three Crucifixions".
oils and gouaches at the Transition Gallery in London.
1939: Bacon's chronic
asthma prevented him from being called up in the forces during the
Second World War but he worked inn the Civil Defence Volunteer Force
particularly during the Blitz of 1940 where he witnessed many harrowing
scenes of death and carnage.
1944: Took part
in "Young British Painters" at the Agnew Gallery.
1945: Bacon's painting
"Three Studies for Figures at the Base of the Crucifixion"
was exhibited at the Lefevre Gallery and it made him overnight the
most controversial painter in Britain.
1946: Took part
in an international exhibition of modern art organised by UNESCO.
1950: Bacon exhibited
at the Knoedler Gallery in New York.
1953: Had his first
one man exhibition outside of Britain in New York.
1954: Along with
Ben Nicholson and Lucian Freud he represented
Britain at the Venice Biennale.
1961: Had his first
retrospective exhibition at the University of Nottingham.
at the Tate Gallery in London.
1965: Bacon exhibited
at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York.
1988: His work was
exhibited in Moscow for the first time.
Never married as gay.
Date and Place of Death:
28th April 1992, Madrid, Spain
Age at Death:
Site of Grave:
Cremated in Madrid at a service with no
friends or relatives present. Ashes scattered in the countryside.
Places of Interest:
City Museum and Art Gallery
Royal College of Art
Arts Council of Great Britain
City Art Gallery
Whitworth Art Gallery
Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, Norwich
Art Gallery, Batley
Temple Newsham House, Leeds
Huddersfield Art Gallery
Ory Gallery, Leeds
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
Aberdeen Art Gallery
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff
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