Francis Bacon’s 1973 Self-Portrait is an oil-on-canvas painting that measures 34.3 x 29.2 cm. The work falls under the expressionism movement style, which emphasizes subjective feelings and emotions over objective reality. Bacon created this painting during his most introspective phase following the death of George Dyer, his former lover.
The self-portrait features a searing self-image of a distorted face with an open mouth and gaping jawline, portraying intense anguish and despair. This painting is one of Francis Bacon’s many self-portraits that depict him in melancholic or tortured states of mind. Some other notable self-portraits include Self-Portrait (1969) and Self-Portrait (1975).
Bacon was known for creating distorted portraits of habitues of London’s Soho neighborhood, where he lived and worked for several years. He was also notorious for destroying many paintings, including “slashed canvasses” that he believed did not meet his artistic standards. After his death, more than 40 slashed canvasses were found in his studio; they are now on display at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.
Overall, Francis Bacon’s Self-Portrait (1973) is a powerful work of art that reflects the artist’s inner emotions through distortion and expressionism style elements.