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Who did Bacon Admire?

Bacon admired many artists from differing art movements. The uniqueness of Bacon's painting probably comes from the fact that he took elements of style, form and possibly content from a wide range of artists, including Van Gogh and Picasso.

In Bacon's paintings

Elements of other artists work can be seen within Bacon's paintings through aspects such as form, texture and even subject matter. Admiration for certain artists even led Bacon to produce portraits of them, aswell as using their work for inspiration.

Study of Van Gogh

Van Gogh was at one time a painter on which Bacon drew directly. Bacon said of him:

Actually I've always liked Van Gogh the best, but that haunted figure on the road just seemed just right at the time - like a phantom of the road, you could say.

Bacon was referring to Van Gogh's The Painter on the Road to Tarascon. One exhibition of Bacon's in 1957 featured many paintings of variations on this painting.

Another artist Bacon chose to emulate in his crucifixion works was Picasso. Looking at his charcoal drawing of 1927, Bacon stated that within these sketches there was an element still unexplored. Bacon was influenced by this particular piece when painting his Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion.

Picasso charcoal sketch

A further look into Bacon's actual painting technique recently revealed Bacon's support material. It clearly shows that although Bacon was adamant that he painted only finished works on canvas, new evidence reveals the contrary.

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