The Grotesque and Francis Bacon

Three_Studies_for_Figures_at_the_Base_of_a_Crucifixion
Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion

When visiting Tate Britain, I find myself revisiting favourite pieces and this is one that began by repelling me and now is a firm favourite.

As with all grotesques, there is something compelling about the features.  Who can deny being fascinated by Quinten Massys’ The Grotesque Woman, that hangs in The National Gallery?  http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/quinten-massys-an-old-woman-the-ugly-duchess

Given that there is a direct link to one of my favourite films – Battleship Potemkin, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps-v-kZzfec (7.23)

it’s hard to think that I really did not like this at first.  As you approach it, in the gallery, you feel disconcerted.  The body shapes are so exaggerated – no one can possible move in this way.  Reading more about the work and the links to other paintings, meant that I started to gain an understanding of what Bacon was trying to achieve.  The painting is based on Aeschylus’ The Oresteia, not as a representation but as a response to his reading of this gruesome tale.

As a starting point for Bacon, it cannot be surpassed and his works are worth exploring in depth.

http://www.francis-bacon.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhHLlpoN8tI

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/jan/20/francis-bacon-self-portrait-sothebys

Advertisements

One thought on “The Grotesque and Francis Bacon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s