Francis Bacon

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Francis Bacon was an Anglo-Irish painter of the 20th century. He was born on October 28, 1909 in Dublin, Ireland to British parents Captain Anthony Edward Mortimer Bacon and Christina Winifred Firth. He had four siblings, and all five children were raised by a nanny. The family was wealthy but Bacon did not get along with his father. He started working as a domestic servant but left this profession as he did not enjoy it. Bacon always wanted the finer things in life and was very fond of money. For this reason he befriended rich men who showered him with money and presents. He was a homosexual, with his first lover being Harcourt-Smith who served in the army with his father. He later claimed that his father had paid off Smith to seduce his son. The family moved to Berlin in 1927, where Bacon led a decadent and wasteful existence.

He then moved to Paris for the next year and a half. He learned to speak French and moved in with a musician and art lover named Yvonne Bocquentin and her family. In Paris, he visited many art galleries and saw the work of famous painters, which later inspired him to start creating his own. One such work was “Massacre of the Innocents” by Nicolas Poussin exhibited at the Musee Conde. By 1929, he had moved to London where he lived with his former nanny and a man named Eric Alden. He started working as an interior designer as well as a personal groom. He became friends with a man named Eric Hall in London, who became his patron as well as his lover. The same year, he showcased his first collection of work at an exhibition, including paintings as well as works of interior design. He travelled through Europe, meeting numerous artists and painters. During his travels, he met a Swiss photographer named Helmar Lerski, who took his portrait. He began to make a name for himself and the same year, he had another exhibition as well.

Bacon started receiving commissions for portraits and interior decoration from various quarters. However, his paintings were rejected for display by the International Surrealist Exhibition, who did not think his technique was modern enough. Upon his father’s death in 1940, Bacon became the executor of his will. At the onset on World War II, he joined the Air Raid Precautions rescue service as he was unfit for combat in the military due to asthma. He made money by hosting underground gambling parties along with Eric Hall. By 1946, he had become much more well-known and successful, and moved to Monte Carlo, while still frequently visiting London. In just a few years, he had gained the reputation of being one of the most influential artists of his time. He joined a private club where he would drink frequently and make new acquaintances. In 1950, he ended his relationship with Eric Hall and travelled to South Africa and Egypt.

Wanting for money, Bacon accepted a teaching position at the Royal College as a painting instructor, although he rarely taught in a formal classroom setting. In 1964, a thief named George Dyer broke into Bacon’s house and Bacon started a relationship with him. They were both alcoholics and their stormy relationship was brief. Three years later, Francis Bacon began a relationship with another young man named John Edwards, to whom he left all his money upon his death in 1992.

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