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Folio: Francis Bacon

The County Kildare native asserted that he couldn’t come back to Ireland until he was dead – perhaps fitting then, that the contents of his South Kensington studio were posthumously decanted to Dublin

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Born in Dublin in 1909, Francis Bacon spent his childhood in County Kildare before his father banished him from the family home at the age of 16, reputedly after he found him posing in his mother’s underwear. ‘He said once that he couldn’t come back until he was dead’, friend and artist Brian Clarke recalled, so perhaps it was fitting that after he passed away, the contents of his famously cluttered South Kensington studio were decanted to the Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, and recreated in every detail.

Bacon maintained that he did not work from drawings, asserting that ‘any sketches that I did before could only give a kind of skeleton’, but the assortment of loose papers and sketchbooks that emerged after his death proclaim otherwise. This untitled drawing of three rooms approached by a ladder was drawn between 1950 and 1957

© the Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2019

This piece is featured in the AR June 2019 issue on the islands of Ireland – click here to purchase your copy today