With its male figure seated on a schematic throne, Personnage is likely related to Bacon’s paintings from the early 1950s inspired by Diego Velázquez’s mid-seventeenthcentury portrait of Pope Innocent X. This canvas, which shows traces of an earlier image through the thickly applied pigment, appears to be one of many that Bacon abandoned before completion. A 1982 letter from the artist to the Brooklyn Museum reveals that Bacon discarded the painting in 1956–57, considering it a failure. He gave it to an artist friend, who apparently did not follow through on his intention to obliterate the image and paint on the other side. Here, as in Bacon’s many other unfinished canvases, the power of the artist’s vision still makes itself felt.
Oil on canvas
77 1/8 × 55 1/8 in., 103 lb. (195.9 × 140 cm)
frame: 85 x 63 x 3 in. (215.9 x 160 x 7.6 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Gift of Olga H. Knoepke
© artist or artist's estate
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Francis Bacon (British, 1909-1992). Pope, 1956-1958. Oil on canvas, 77 1/8 × 55 1/8 in., 103 lb. (195.9 × 140 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Olga H. Knoepke, 81.306. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 81.306_SL1.jpg)
overall, 81.306_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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