Self-Portrait (1971) by Francis Bacon

Self-Portrait - Francis Bacon - 1958

Artwork Information

ArtistFrancis Bacon
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions14 x 12 in (35.5 x 30.5 cm)
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationMusee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
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About Self-Portrait

Francis Bacon was known for his obsessive self-portraits which he painted throughout his career. Using mirrors and lighting techniques, Bacon projected his own image onto a black background, creating a raw and unsettling representation of himself. His self-portraits were not just artistic expressions but were also a way for him to confront his own mortality.

Bacon’s most introspective phase occurred in the 1970s following the sudden death of his former lover, George Dyer. During this time, Bacon’s portraits proliferated and became increasingly complex. One such portrait is his 1971 self-portrait which embodies a cold and harsh reflection of how Bacon sees himself.

In all of Bacon’s portraits, including the self-portrait from 1971, his subjects are portrayed as violently distorted and imprisoned by existential dilemmas. These twisted figures serve as an embodiment of existential fear and loathing that encompasses their existence. Bacon’s works leave an impression on viewers by highlighting the fragility of life and compelling us to confront our deepest fears.

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