subjective expressionism

Study for Portrait, Francis Bacon


Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon

Study for a Portrait, 1949

Oil on canvas, 149.4 x 130.6 cm

Chicago, Collection Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago.

Gift of Joseph and Jory Shapiro

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago © The Estate of Francis Bacon / All rights reserved / ADAGP, Paris 2015; Photo: Nathan Keay, © Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Francis Bacon - Study for Portrait,1949

Oil on canvas

Gift of Joseph and Jory Shapiro

This portrait of a man screaming in the middle of a transparent cage is astoundingly true to life. The expression of anguish is heightened by the contrast between the yellow ocher light and the threatening shadow that surrounds it. While many see it as a prefiguration of Eichmann’s trial (Jerusalem 1961), the cage above all serves to focus the viewer’s eyes on the gaping hole of the mouth, an obsessive motif for the artist. The violence of the scream underlines the solitude of the human existence.

Biography of the artist :

Dublin 28 October 1909 – Madrid 28 April 1992

For more information on the artist, Please click here.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.