With Francis Bacon's Head VI 1949 currently exhibiting in the UK City of Culture 2017, Hull, it seems fitting that the revered painting be the subject of our next 'Catalogue Raisonné Focus'.
Head VI is on display at Hull's Ferens Art Gallery throughout the year, and until 1 May 2017 it is joined by four other works by Bacon in the display Francis Bacon: Nervous System.*
In Volume II of the Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné, Martin Harrisson FSA writes of Bacon's Head VI:
'This is the earliest surviving painting in which Bacon combined Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X and a still image from the Odessa steps sequence in Sergei Eisenstein's film, Battleship Potemkin. It is Bacon's most celebrated fusion of traditional art and modernism - a Baroque masterpiece and an already-famous cinema image - a diachronic conflation that became one of his fundamental precepts.'
'At this stage Bacon had encountered the Portrait of Pope Innocent X only in black and white reproductions, and he believed the purple and lavender of the Pope's cape to be the correct colours; although the Velázquez obsessed Bacon for twenty years, he did not paint an accurately red Pope until 1960.'
We'll be sharing further excerpts in the near future. 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, for all confirmation please contact Ferens Art Gallery.
Excerpts: Martin Harrisson, FSA, 49-07 Head VI 1949, Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné Volume II, pages 202 - 205.