1909-1925 Born in Dublin to English parents. His father trains racehorses. In conflict with his father, he leaves the family home aged 16 and spends a few months in London.

1926-1928 Travels to Berlin and stays in Paris. In 1927 he discovers Picasso in Pierre Rosenberg’s gallery in Paris.

1929-1935 Returning to London in 1929, he works as an interior decorator. Paints his first Crucifixion in 1933; it is shown at the Mayor Gallery.

1936-1937 Some of his worksare presented at the‘International Surrealist

Exhibition’ organized by Herbert Read.

1937 Takes part in a group show of ‘Young British Painters’ organised by Eric Hall in the galleries of Thomas Agnew & Sons in London. Death of his father.

1944-1946 Completes Three Studies of Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944).

For Painting (1946), he devises a pictorial process based on chance; the work is purchased by Erica

Brausen, future director of the Hanover Gallery. Travels to Monte Carlo, where he frequents the casinos.

series of nudes (Pink Nude at Her Bath, Large Nude at Her Bath…)

1948 Brausen, his dealer up to 1958, sells Painting (1946) to Alfred J. Barr, director of MoMA, New York.

1949 First group show at the Hanover Gallery, at which Bacon unveils his ‘Head’

series. He is now close to painters such as Lucian Freud, Michael Andrew, Frank Auerbach, Timothy

Behrens, John Minton and to the photographer John Deakin, with whom he meets up on a regular

basis at the Colony Room, a bar in Soho, London.

1951-1952 Begins a sequence of three pope paintings, shown at his first solo exhibition at the Hanover Gallery. Meets Peter Lacy in 1952. Takes part in the group showcase ‘Recent Trends in Realist Painting’, organised by Robert Melville and David Sylvester at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

1953 Paints Two Figures, Study after the Portrait of Pope Innocent X by Velasquez, and eight Studies for a Portrait.

1954-1955 Twelve of his paintings are presented at the Venice Biennial. A first retrospective of his

oeuvre is held at the ICA in London in 1955.

1957 Takes part in group shows at MoMA, New York, and the Hanover Gallery, as well as in Oslo

and Copenhagen. Stays in Tangiers on the invitation of Peter Lacy. Meets Paul Bowles and writers of the Beat generation. Paints his first Self-Portrait.

1959-1960 In 1959 takes part in Documenta II, Kassel, the 5th São Paulo Biennial, a collective exhibition

at the MoMA and the exhibition ‘Antagonismes’ at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. Presents

a work at the Salon de Mai in Paris (he will show at this Salon again in 1961, 1962 and 1964).

First solo exhibition at the Marlborough Fine Art Gallery, London, in 1960.

1962 Major Bacon retrospective at the Tate Gallery, London. The exhibition subsequently travels to Mannheim, Turin, Zurich and Amsterdam.

1963 Joint Bacon and Henry Moore exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery, London. Retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, New York (65 paintings). This exhibition is later presented in Chicago and Houston. Meets George Dyer, his new friend and model. Begins Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer.

1964 Paints the triptych Three Figures in a Room. Features in many group shows in Great Britain and abroad, including Documenta III in Kassel, which devotes a room to his work.

1965-1968 In 1965 paints the great triptych Crucifixion, acquired by the Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst, Munich. The Triptych Inspired by T. S. Eliot’s Poem ‘Sweeney Agonistes’, 1967, is bought the following year by the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, Washington DC.

1971-1973 Death of his mother in South Africa in 1971. First retrospective in France, at the Grand Palais. George Dyer commits suicide in Paris shortly before the inauguration. The exhibition goes on to Düsseldorf in 1972-1973.

1974-1975 In 1974 meets John Edwards who becomes his friend and model. 1975 sees the exhibition ‘Francis Bacon, Recent Paintings 1968-1974’ at the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

1982-1984 In 1982 paints Study of the Human Body from a Drawing by Ingres, and Oedipus and the Sphinx after Ingres. Debut exhibitions in Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagoya).


1985-1986: retrospective at the Tate Gallery and at the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin. In 1989, the Second Version of Triptych 1944 is presented at the exhibition ‘Auerbach, Bacon, Kitaj’ at the Marlborough Fine Art gallery, London, and in the Galerie Lelong, Paris. United States for a couple of one-man shows, including one at the Brummer Gallery, New York (15 November-17 December 1926), Brancusi erects an Endless Column in Steichen’s garden in Voulangis.

1990 Retrospective at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington. Solo exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery in Tokyo.

1991 Bacon paints Study from the Human Body.

1992 Francis Bacon dies on 28 April.