Portrait of Henrietta Moraes on a Blue Couch
Europe, United Kingdom, England, London
First floor: Gallery 9 Changing Displays
198 x 147 cm
Portrait of Henrietta Moraes on a Blue Couch 1965
Francis Bacon 1909-1992
Oil on canvas
Francis Bacon was the most controversial
and experimental of British painters of the human figure.
He would often paint with his hands,
bin lids and old pullovers as well as brushes.
This is one of 3 portraits of his friend, Henrietta.
Both artist and subject led a bohemian life
centred on the Colony Room,
a late-night drinking club in London's Soho.
Bacon painted at night by the light of a bare bulb
using photographs for inspiration.
He felt uncomfortable painting directly from the figure
because of 'the injury I do to them in my work'.
The photograph used to make this portrait
was taken by Vogue photographer, John Deakin.
The portrait appears violent and ugly
or beautiful all at once.