Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992) is undoubtedly one of the greatest painters of the last decades of the 20th century and the greatest representative of the neofigurative current that confronted the different movements of abstraction.
But it is not a totally realistic figuration, since one of the constants in all his paintings is the deformations, either in works that cover other historical ones such as his series on Innocent X by Velázquez or in his characteristics of the most tormented images such as The false figure inside the mirror, to give just one example.
Francis Bacon Crucifixion Triptych
And in addition to the deformations, in his works there is never a lack of violence, blood and viscera. A kind of tormented character who poured into each and every one of his works
That also led to his exceptional and unique religious painting, as befits an artist who declared himself adamantly atheist
However, he has bequeathed us this work that presents his particular way of seeing the Crucifixion of Christ, which has little to do with the images to which we are accustomed. Little, except for the triptych format that relates it to the medieval tradition of religious art.
First of all, it must be said that the triptych was a format that fascinated Francis Bacon and that he used inmany of his works. A good example would be one of his most valued creations: Three studies of Lucien Freud, where he played and reflected with the image of other great masters of neo-figurative artof the last decades, the also British painter Lucien Freud.
But going back to his Triptych of the Crucifixion it must be said that although Bacon replaced the traditional images of saints and crosses with authentic monsters, the truth is that maintains a certain respect for historical forms, and for this reason it is interesting to see how he is able to integrate in the image on the right references to the Crucifix of Arezzo by Cimabue, one of the great masters ofItalian Trecento.
However, despite that visual reference, the truth is that it is difficult to see the allusions to Christ on the cross beyond the title. In fact, specialists in the work of Bacon make different interpretations regarding this triptych.
For some of them it is an allusion to his love relationship with the American poet of the famousBeat generation: Allen Ginsberg. Something that would manifest itself in the image of the central table. However, for other researchers it also alludes to the moment in which his father kicked him out of the house when he was 16 years old, precisely when his mother saw him dressed in his mother's clothes and found out that he was homosexual. In short, Bacon's art is not easy to interpret, sometimes because of his bloody nature it is not even easy to see. But that doesn't stop him fromhave to qualify as a unique artist.