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Royal Academy

Francis Bacon: Man and Beast

  • Ausstellung
    Francis Bacon: Man and Beast
    30.01.2021 - 18.04.2021
    Royal Academy »
Royal Academy

Explore Francis Bacon’s visceral paintings, where the line between human and animal is constantly blurred, reminding us that our primal instincts lie just below the surface.

Following the recent lockdown announcement, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our Francis Bacon: Man and Beast exhibition. We are currently reviewing our programme of exhibitions for 2021 and will share more information as soon as we can.

Irish-born artist Francis Bacon was the horse-breeder’s son who became one of the most important painters of the 20th century.

An openly gay man at a time when homosexuality was illegal, he was banished from his conservative family home by his father at 16. After that, he drifted through Berlin and Paris before establishing himself in London, with his formative years running parallel with some of the 20th century’s most profoundly disturbing events.

This powerful exhibition will focus on Bacon’s unerring fascination with animals: how it both shaped his approach to the human body and distorted it; how, caught at the most extreme moments of existence, his figures are barely recognisable as either human or beast.

It also explores how Bacon was mesmerised by animal movement, observing animals in the wild during trips to South Africa; filling his studio with wildlife books, and constantly referring to Eadweard Muybridge’s 19th-century photographs of humans and animals in motion. Whether baboons or bulls, dogs or birds of prey, Bacon felt he could get closer to understanding the true nature of humankind by watching the uninhibited behaviour of animals.

Spanning Bacon’s 50-year career, highlights include some of Bacon’s earliest works and his last-ever painting, alongside a trio of bullfight paintings which will be exhibited together for the first time.

Seen together, these raw expressions of anxiety and instinct – both animal and human – feel poignantly relevant today.






  • 30.01.2021 - 18.04.2021
    Ausstellung »
    Royal Academy »

    10am – 5pm. 



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  • Francis Bacon, Second Version of Triptych 1944, 1988. Oil and acrylic on 3 canvases. 198 x 147.5 cm (each). Tate: Presented by the artist 1991 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2020.
    Francis Bacon, Second Version of Triptych 1944, 1988. Oil and acrylic on 3 canvases. 198 x 147.5 cm (each). Tate: Presented by the artist 1991 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2020.
    Royal Academy
  • Francis Bacon, Study for Bullfight No. 1, 1969. Oil on canvas. 197.7 x 147.8 cm. Private collection © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2020. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.
    Francis Bacon, Study for Bullfight No. 1, 1969. Oil on canvas. 197.7 x 147.8 cm. Private collection © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2020. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.
    Royal Academy
  •  Francis Bacon, Head VI, 1949. Oil on canvas. 91.4 x 76.2 cm. Arts Council Collection, London © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2020. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.
    Francis Bacon, Head VI, 1949. Oil on canvas. 91.4 x 76.2 cm. Arts Council Collection, London © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2020. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.
    Royal Academy