The third release in a series of books that seeks to illuminate Francis Bacon’s art and motivations, Inside Francis Bacon, provides explorations into three new sources of archival information that shed light on the artist’s elusive early years.
Opening the book, Francesca Pipe explores the diary of Eric Allden, Bacon’s first patron. From a chance encounter on the Channel ferry in 1929, Allden and Bacon’s friendship developed quickly. The pair went on to rent an apartment together in Westminster.
“As a diary keeper of fastidious care Allden gives a comprehensive account of his own existence and in doing so also fortuitously captures a vivid image of the young man who would eventually become one of the most important artists of the 20th century.”
Francesca Pipe, a freelance researcher, introduces her essay in a short video which can be found on our YouTube channel.
In part two, Martin Harrison, editor of Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné (2016) and Head of Publishing for the Estate of Francis Bacon, delves into the diary of Diana Watson. Watson was Francis Bacon’s cousin, a close friend and one of his first patrons. Notes found in her archived diaries from 1931 to 1938 - which have been recently added to The Estate of Francis Bacon’s collection - reveal important new information about Bacon’s early years. You can listen to Martin Harrison as he introduces his essay on our YouTube channel.
Closing the book is an essay contributed by Sophie Pretorius, who holds a BA in Art History from the Courtauld Institute and works as Researcher and Archivist for the Estate of Francis Bacon. Her essay analyses the extensive records kept by Bacon’s doctors, Stanley and Paul Brass, to redefine the artist’s character and psychology.
“Bacon’s medical records <…> give a mercilessly thorough and as close to an objective account of the elusive psychic and somatic realities of Francis Bacon’s daily life.”
Listen as Sophie Pretorius introduces her essay ‘A Pathological Painter: Francis Bacon and the control of suffering’ on our YouTube channel.
To read the full selection of studies enclosed in the 220-page book, you can order Inside Francis Bacon through our website: https://www.francis-bacon.com/insidefrancisbacon