Francis Bacon

Study for a Portrait March 1991 (1991)

About this artwork

This is one of the last paintings Bacon completed. It is the second in a series of three portraits of his friend, the artist Anthony Zych. Zych appears to be standing in a doorway, possibly that of the artist's studio. The camera tripod is an element repeated from the central panel of a triptych painted in 1944. Bacon's portraits were almost without exception of people with whom he was familiar. He preferred to paint his subjects not from life but from photographs. This was the first painting by Bacon to enter the collection of the Gallery of Modern Art.

  • title: Study for a Portrait March 1991
  • accession number: GMA 3914
  • artist: Francis BaconBritish (1909 - 1992)
  • depicted: Anthony Zych
  • gallery: Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art One(In Storage)
  • object type: Painting
  • date created: 1991
  • measurements: 198.00 x 147.50 cm (framed: 218.20 x 167.30 x 8.00 cm)
  • credit line: Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and presented 1995
  • copyright: © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2016.

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon

Bacon was born in Dublin to English parents and in the late 1920s spent time in Berlin and Paris before settling in London. It was only after seeing an exhibition of Picasso's work in Paris that he decided to become a painter. Self-taught, he gained some success as a designer of furniture and rugs, but painted comparatively little in the 1930s. Bacon said that painting only became really important to him in about 1945, the date that his triptych of the previous year, Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (Tate Gallery, London) was exhibited in London. This controversial work served to launch the artist's career.