January is often when we seek inspiration for the year ahead. This edition of the Catalogue Raisonné Focus investigates the influence fellow artists had on Bacon’s brush when painting Figure Study I, 1945-46.
In Volume II of the Francis Bacon: Catalogué Raisonné 2016, Martin Harrison, FSA writes of the piece:
‘The painting of flowers, like all the flowers in Bacon's paintings of 1945 and 1946, is redolent of Monet's Nymphéas; the series in the Musée de l'Orangerie opened to the public in 1927, and Bacon, who greatly admired them, might have known them from the time of his first stay in Paris. The stooping form of the wittily sinister disembodied coat may have been indebted to Graham Sutherland's Woman in a Garden, 1945. Between 1943 and 1946 there was a reciprocal interaction between Bacon and Sutherland. It is problematic to assign precedence in their work in this period, but in this instance Sutherland's painting was the earlier.’
Figure Study I, acquired by The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 1998, is currently on display along with its companion piece Figure Study II 1945-46, Pope I, 1951 and Study for a Portrait March 1991 at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One) until 30 May 2018. If you can’t make the show you can view the painting and discover more about its exhibition history here.
Excerpts: Martin Harrison, FSA. 46-01 Figure Study I, 1945-46, Catalogue Raisonné Volume II pages 164-166.
If you’d like to order a copy of the ‘Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné’ please visit Heni Publishing’s website.
*Please note all details including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change. Ahead of a visiting, we recommend contacting the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art for all confirmation regarding the display.