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Study for Portrait No. 1Enlarge image

Study for Portrait No. 1, October 1956

Francis Bacon
British, 1909 - 1992
oil on canvas
197.7 x 142.3 cm
Purchased 1957
National Gallery of Canada (no. 6746)
© Estate of Francis Bacon / SODRAC (2013)

The source for this image is the Spanish artist Velasquez's "Pope Innocent X" of 1650. Although Francis Bacon made more than thirty paintings of the subject, he never saw the original picture, though he had the opportunity to do so during a visit to Rome. His inspiration and model, as often with Bacon, was a photographic reproduction. The influence of the photograph may be felt in the way the artist reduces the rich reds of Velasquez's portrait to a palette of black, purple, and grey.

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