The views of Francis Bacon's work, and indeed the man himself are varied, but most do lead to the conclusion that Bacon was probably an extremely influential artist and that he was possibly the greatest British painter of the 20th century.
We all know the most dangerous person we can meet is some kind of con man . . . one on the other side of the law . . . somebody who does not conform to normal morality or someone who feels a powerful urge to seduce. Bacon's myth took powerful root, and was, I think, aided by the fact that he was seductive in the way that - dare one say it? - some criminals are also seductive.
Edward Lucie-Smith, art critic
His works have inspired and captured many, whether they like it or not. Bacon seemed to capture the darker side of human imagination through his works and seduced people with his strange personality.
There are often two very distinct sides to Bacon and that was part of his fascination. He seemed split and you wondered how he managed to keep these things in balance . . . On the one hand, you could say he dissembled quite a lot, but on the other, he was extremely candid. And he was enormously vivacious and gregarious and exuberant, sarcastic and fun to be with, and I was immediately seduced . . . He used to come out with this phrase from time to time: 'To seduce is everything.'
Michael Peppiatt, Bacon biographer
What about Bacon's . . . tendencies . . . ?
He was a creature of chameleon transitions. He was, after all, a gent to begin with, even though he may have preferred being buggered by the grooms to going to local dances with suitable girls. He knew how to behave. One of the consequences of knowing how to behave was that he had a kind of social grace that enabled him to move from one level of society . . . to another with ease.
Brian Sewell, art critic
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To Bacon's Studio