Three Studies of the Male Back

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Franic Bacon, Three Studies of the Male Back, 1970 Three Studies of the Male Back.jpg
Franic Bacon, Three Studies of the Male Back, 1970

Three Studies of the Male Back is a 1970 oil-on-canvas triptych by the British painter Francis Bacon. Typical of Bacon's figurative but abstract and distorted style, it depicts male figures isolated within flat nondescript interior spaces. Each figure is a portrait of Bacon's lover George Dyer.

Triptych three-part polyptych

A triptych is a work of art that is divided into three sections, or three carved panels that are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open. It is therefore a type of polyptych, the term for all multi-panel works. The middle panel is typically the largest and it is flanked by two smaller related works, although there are triptychs of equal-sized panels. The form can also be used for pendant jewelry.

Francis Bacon (artist) Irish-born British figurative painter, 1909–1992

Francis Bacon was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his emotionally charged raw imagery, fixation on personal motifs, and heavy experimentation.

There are similarities and differences between the three depictions of the male figure. Each man is shown sitting on a pedestal, within a trapezoidal box-like cage, facing away from the viewer. The framework encloses - almost entraps - the human figure. In each of the two side panels, a classical perspective would have the edge of the cage logically obscured behind the figure, but instead Bacon has the frame crossing the back of its head. [1]

The figure in each side panel is placed in front of a shaving mirror, but the glass visible to the viewer distorts the reflection. [2] Splashes of red suggest injury. The smooth pink back of the figure in the left panel contrasts with the knotted red and blue tones of the figure in the right hand panel. [3] The figure in the central panel sits in front of a mirror reading a newspaper, but the mirror is a flat grey and does not reflect. [2]

The triptych is similar to contemporary works by Bacon, including his 1969 triptych Three Studies of Lucian Freud , and has been described as an "explicit homage" to Degas's 1890s painting After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself , held by the National Gallery, London. [4] Each panel measures 198 centimetres (78 in) by 147.5 centimetres (58.1 in). The triptych is held by the Kunsthaus Zürich. [5]

<i>Three Studies of Lucian Freud</i> 1969 triptych by Francis Bacon

Three Studies of Lucian Freud is a 1969 oil-on-canvas triptych by the Irish-born British painter Francis Bacon, depicting artist Lucian Freud. It was sold in November 2013 for US$142.4 million, which at the time was the highest price attained at auction for a work of art when not factoring in inflation. That record was surpassed in May 2015 by Version O of Picasso's Les Femmes d'Alger series.

<i>After the Bath, Woman Drying Herself</i> pastel painting by Edgar Degas

After the Bath, Woman drying herself is a pastel drawing by Edgar Degas, made some time between 1890 and 1895. It has been in the collection of the National Gallery, London since 1959. The work is part of a series of drawings, preliminary sketches and completed works in pastels and oils by Degas from this period that depict women bathing.

Kunsthaus Zürich art museum in Zürich, Switzerland

The Kunsthaus Zürich is an art museum in the Swiss city of Zürich. It houses one of the most important art collections in Switzerland, assembled over the years by the local art association called Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft. The collection spans from the Middle Ages to contemporary art, with an emphasis on Swiss art.

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References

  1. Francis Bacon and the Loss of Self, Ernst van Alphen, p. 43
  2. 1 2 Francis Bacon and the Loss of Self, Ernst van Alphen, p. 61
  3. Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation, Gilles Deleuze, p. 56
  4. Francis Bacon: Back to Degas, Tate Gallery, 11 May 2012
  5. Francis Bacon: five decades, Art Gallery of New South Wales