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The literature on Bacon is large and ever expanding. While Bacon has been vividly discussed during his lifetime, after his death the uncovering of drawings by the artist, a rediscovery of paintings previously lost or presumed destroyed, and the reconstruction of his studio in Dublin have prompted a growing number of new studies, articles and exhibitions. This selected bibliography aims to provide an overview of major publications, but can at most give a flavour of past and current critical attitudes towards the painter.

More extensive bibliographies can be found in the catalogue from the 1985 Bacon retrospective at Tate Britain, the catalogue from the 1996 retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou and the more recent exhibition catalogue for Francis Bacon in the 1950s by Michael Peppiatt from 2006. A new catalogue raisonné was published by The Estate of Francis Bacon in June 2016, which contains a comprehensive bibliography of writing on the artist.


Harrison, Martin (ed.), Francis Bacon La France et Monaco / France and Monaco, with essays by Martin Harrison, Sarah Whitfield, Amanda J Harrison, Catherine Howe, Rebecca Daniels, Carol Jacobi, Darren Ambrose, James Wishart and Eddy BatacheParis: Albin Michel and Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation, 2016

Harrison, Martin, Francis BaconCatalogue Raisonné, The Estate of Francis Bacon, 2016

Peppiatt, Michael, Francis Bacon in your Blood: A Memoir, London and New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015

Arya, Rina, Francis Bacon: Painting in a Godless World, Farnham: Lund Humphries, 2012

Hammer, Martin, Francis Bacon and Nazi Propaganda, London: Tate Publishing, 2012

Arya, Rina (ed.), Francis Bacon: Critical and Theoretical Perspectives, with essays by Stephen Turk, John G Hatch, Peter Jones, Nicholas Chare, Martin Hammer and Darren Ambrose, New York: Peter Lang, 2012

Günther, Katharina, Francis Bacon: Metamorphoses, London: The Estate of Francis Bacon, 2011

Ficacci, Luigi, Bacon: 1909-1992: Deep Beneath the Surface of Things, Köln: Taschen, 2010, 2nd ed. 2015

Harrison, Martin (ed.), Francis Bacon — New Studies: Centenary Essays, with essays by Darren Ambrose, Richard Calvocoressi, Rebecca Daniels, Hugh M Davies, Marcel Finke, Andrew R Lee, Brenda Marshall and Joanna Russell, Göttingen: Steidl, 2009

Harrison, Martin and Rebecca Daniels, Francis Bacon: Incunabula, London: Thames & Hudson, 2008

Peppiatt, Michael, Francis Bacon: Studies for a Portrait: Essays and Interviews, New Haven, Conn and London: Yale University Press, 2008

Francesca, Marini, Francis Bacon, Milan: Skira, 2008

Hammer, Martin, Bacon and Sutherland, New Haven, Conn.: Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art by Yale University Press, 2005

Harrison, Martin, In Camera: Francis Bacon, Photography, Film and the Practice of Painting. London: Thames & Hudson, 2005

Cappock, Margarita, Francis Bacon's Studio, London: Merrell, 2005

Baldassari, Anne, Bacon-Picasso: The Life of Images, Paris: Flammarion, 2005

Brighton, Andrew, Francis Bacon, London: Tate Publishing, 2001

Ogden, Perry, 7 Reece Mews: Francis Bacon’s Studio, introduction by John Edwards, London: Thames & Hudson, 2001

Sylvester, David, Looking Back at Francis Bacon, London: Thames & Hudson, 2000

Domino, Christophe, Francis Bacon: ‘Taking Reality by Surprise’, London: Thames & Hudson, 1997

Schmied, Wieland, Francis Bacon: Commitment and Conflict, Munich and New York: Prestel-Verlag, 1996

Dagen, Philippe, Francis Bacon, Paris: Editions Cercle d’Art, 1996

Alphen, Ernst van, Francis Bacon and the Loss of Self, London: Reaktion Books, 1992

Davies, Hugh Marlais and Sally Yard, Francis Bacon, New York: Abbeville Press, 1986

Leiris, Michel, Francis Bacon: Face et Profil, Paris: Albin Michel; Munich: Prestel-Verlag; Milan: Rizzoli, 1983; Barcelona: Ediciones Polígrafa. English tr. Francis Bacon: Full Face and in Profile. Oxford: Phaidon and New York: Rizzoli. Revised ed. 1988

Deleuze, Gilles, Francis Bacon: Logique de la Sensation, Paris: Editions de la Différence, 1981, English tr. Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation, London: Continuum, 2003

Davies, Hugh Marlais, Francis Bacon: the Early and Middle Years, 1928-1958 (PhD dissertation, Princeton University, Department of Art and Archaeology, 1975), New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1978

Trucchi, Lorenza, Francis Bacon, Milan: Fratelli Fabbri Editori, 1975. English tr. Francis Bacon, New York: Harry N Abrams, 1975; London: Thames & Hudson, 1976

Russell, John, Francis Bacon, London: Thames & Hudson, 1971. Revised ed. 1993

Alley, Ronald and John Rothenstein, Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné and Documentation, London: Thames & Hudson, 1964


Francis Bacon: Late Paintings, Gagosian Gallery, New York, 7 November — 12 December, 2015, New York: Gagosian Gallery, 2015, with contributions by Richard Calvocoressi, Richard Francis, Mark Stevens, and Colm Tóibín; an interview with Martin Harrison and Richard Calvocoressi; reprinted texts by Eddy Batache, Bruce Bernard and Jeffrey Bernard

Francis Bacon and the Masters, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, 17 April—26 July 2015, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, 2015, London: Fontanka, 2015. With contributions by Thierry Morel, Professor Paul Joannides, Amanda Geitner, Calvin Winner and Margarita Cappock 

Francis Bacon, Henry Moore: Flesh and Bone, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 12 September 2013—5 January 2014, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 2014, Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2014. With contributions by Richard Calvocoressi, Martin Harrison and Francis Warner

Movement and Gravity: Bacon and Rodin in Dialogue, Ordovas Gallery, London, 08 February—06 April 2013, London: Ordovas, 2013. With a contribution by Martin Harrison

Francis Bacon: Five Decades, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 November 2012 —24 February 2013, Anthony Bond (ed.), London: Thames & Hudson, 2012. With contributions by Anthony Bond, Martin Harrison, Rebecca Daniels, Margarita Cappock, Ernst van Alphen

Irrational Marks: Bacon and Rembrandt, Ordovas Gallery, London, 07 October—16 December 2011, London: Ordovas, 2011. With an introduction by Pilar Ordovas and essays by Taco Dibbits and Martin Harrison

Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin, 28 October 2009—07 March 2010, Compton Verney, Warwickshire, 2010, Logan Sisley (ed.), Steidl: Göttingen, 2009. With contributions by Barbara Dawson, Martin Harrison, Marcel Finke, Jessica O’Donnell, Joanna Shepard and Rebecca Daniels

Caravaggio-Bacon, Galleria Borghese, Rome, 2 October 2009—24 January 2010, Michael Peppiatt (ed.), Milan: Motta, 2010

Francis Bacon, Tate Gallery, London, 11 September 2008—4 January 2009, the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2009, Matthew Gale and Chris Stephens (eds.), London: Tate Gallery, 2008, with contributions by Matthew Gale, Chris Stephens, Gary Tinterow, Martin Harrison, David Alan Mellor, Simon Ofield and Victoria Walsh 

Francis Bacon: The Violence of the Real, K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, 16 September 2006—7 January 2007, Armin Zweite (ed.), London: Thames & Hudson, 2006, with contributions by Armin Zweite, Martin Harrison, Peter Bürger, Daria Kolacka, Frank Laukötter and Maria Müller

Francis Bacon in the 1950s, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, 26 September—10 December 2006, Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, 2007, Michael Peppiatt, New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press, 2006

Francis Bacon: Portraits and Heads, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, 4 June—4 September 2005, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, 2005, Richard Calvocoressi and Martin Hammer, Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland in association with the British Council, 2005

Francis Bacon— the Sacred and the Profane: Lo Sagrado y lo Profano, IVAM Centre Julio Gonzalez, 7 April—30 June 2004, Musée Maillol, Fondation Dina Vierny, Paris, 2004, Michael Peppiatt, Valencia: IVAM, D.L. 2003, with contributions by Michael Peppiatt,  Kosme da Barañano, Hugh M Davies and Barbara Steffen

Francis Bacon and the Tradition of Art, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 15 October 2003—18 January 2004, Fondation Beyeler, Basel, 2004, Barbara Steffen (ed.), with contributions by Barbara Steffen, Norman Bryson, Ernst van Alphen, Olivier Berggruen, Margarita Cappock and Michael Peppiatt

Francis Bacon: Caged, Uncaged, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, 24 January—20 April, 2003, Vicente Todoli (ed.), Porto: Fundacão de Serralves, 2003, with contributions by Martin Harrison and David Sylvester

Van Gogh by Bacon, Fondation Vincent Van Gogh-Arles, Arles, 5 July—6 October 2002, David Alan Mellor, with an introduction by Yolande Clergue and contributions by David Alan Mellor, Philippe Sollers and Alain Jouffroy, Arles: Actes Sud: Fondation Vincent van Gogh, 2002

Francis Bacon: The Papal Portraits of 1953, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, 17 January—28 March, 1999, Hugh M Davies, San Diego: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2001

Francis Bacon in Dublin, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin, 1 June—31 August 2000, Dublin: Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art and Thames & Hudson, 2000. With contributions by David Sylvester, Grey Gowrie, Louis le Brocquey, Anthony Cronin and Paul Durcan

Francis Bacon: A Retrospective, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 23 January—21 March 1999, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis; the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth, 1999, Dennis Farr. New York: Harry N Abrams in association with the Trust for Museum Exhibitions, 1999. With contributions by Dennis Farr, Michael Peppiatt and Sally Yard

Francis Bacon: Working on Paper, Tate Gallery, London, February—April 1999, Matthew Gale, London: Tate Gallery, 1999. With contributions by Matthew Gale and David Sylvester

Francis Bacon, Centre National d’Art et Culture Georges Pompidou, 26 June—14 October 1996, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 1996, Fabrice Herrgott (ed.), Paris: Editions du Centre Pompidou, 1996. With contributions by David Sylvester, Michel Leiris, Jean-Claude Lebensztejn, Jean Louis Schefer, Fabrice Hergott, Yves Kobry and  Hervé Vanel

Francis Bacon, Museo d'Arte Moderna della Citta di Lugano, Lugano, 7 March—30 May 1993, Rudy Chiappini (ed.), Lugano: Museo d'Arte Moderna della Citta di Lugano and Milano: Electa, 1993. With contributions by Ronald Alley, Hugh M Davies, Michael Peppiatt and Rudy Chiappini

Francis Bacon, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gardens, Washington, 12 October 1989—7 January 1990, Los Angeles County Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1999, Lawrence Gowing and Sam Hunter, Washington DC: Hirshhorn Museum; Thames & Hudson, 1990

Francis Bacon, Tate Gallery, London, 22 May­—18 August, 1985, Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart and Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 1985 and 1986, Dawn Ades and Andrew Forge, London: Tate Gallery, Thames & Hudson, 1985. With contributions by Dawn Ades, Andrew Forge and Andrew Durham

Francis Bacon: Recent Paintings, 1968-1974, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 20 March—29 June 1975, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1974. With an introduction by Henry Geldzahler and a contribution by Peter Beard

Francis Bacon, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 26 October 1971 – 10 January 1972, Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, 1972, Paris: Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, 1971

Francis Bacon, The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, October 1963—January 1964, Chicago Art Institute and Contemporary Arts Association, Houston, 1964, New York: [s.n.], 1963, with an introduction by Lawrence Alloway

Francis Bacon, Tate Gallery, London, 24 May—1 July 1962, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim, the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Turin, the Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1962 and 1963, London: Tate Gallery, 1962, with an introduction by John Rothenstein and an essay by Ronald Alley


Norton, James, ‘Bacon’s Beginnings’, The Burlington Magazine, No. 1354, Vol. 158, January 2016, pp.19-25

Cappock, Margarita, ‘Regrets: Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Jasper Johns,’ The Burlington Magazine, No. 1346, Vol. 157, May 2015, pp.335-341

Hammer, Martin and Chris Stephens, ‘“Seeing the Story of One’s Time”: Appropriations from Nazi Photography in the Work of Francis Bacon,’ Visual Culture in Britain, November 2009, pp.317-353

Harrison, Martin, ‘Francis Bacon: Lost and Found’, Apollo, CLXI, March 2005, pp.90-97

Harrison, Martin, ‘Points of Reference: Francis Bacon and Photography’, in exh. cat. Francis Bacon: Paintings from The Estate, 1980-1991. London: Faggionato Fine Arts, 25 June—26th August 1999

Peppiatt, Michael, ‘Francis Bacon: The Studio as Symbol,’ The Connoisseur, September 1984, pp.84-93

Leiris, Michel, ‘The Art of Francis Bacon,’ Times Literary Supplement, 18 March 1977, p.309, previously published as ‘Le Grand Jeu de Francis Bacon’, introd. to exh. cat. Francis Bacon: Oeuvres récentes, Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris, 19 January—26 March 1977

Davies, Hugh Marlais, ‘Bacon’s ‘Black’ Tripychs’, Art in America, March—April 1975, pp.62-68

Alloway, Lawrence, ‘Pop Art since 1949’, The Listener, 27 December 1962, pp.1085-1087

Lessore, Helen, ‘A Note on the Development of Francis Bacon’s Painting’, X: a Quarterly Review, March 1961, pp.23-26

Hunter, Sam, ‘Francis Bacon: the Anatomy of Horror’, Magazine of Art, Vol. 45, January 1952, pp.11-15

Sylvester, David, ‘The Paintings of Francis Bacon’, The Listener, 3 January 1952, pp. 28-29

Melville, Robert, ‘Francis Bacon’, Horizon, December 1949—January 1950, pp.419-423

Mortimer, Raymond, ‘At the Lefevre’, New Statesman, 14 April 1945, p.239

'The 1930 Look in British Decoration’, The Studio, 100, August 1930, pp.140-141


Cork, Richard, Face to Face: Interviews with Artists, London: Tate Publishing, 2015, pp.30-39

Saraben, Jacques. ‘Francis Bacon: To make a Sahara of the Mouth’, in: Art Press, Paris, no. 215, July/August 1996, pp.20-26

Archimbaud, Michel, Francis Bacon: In Conversation with Michel Archimbaud, London: Phaidon Press, 1993

Sylvester, David, Interviews with Francis Bacon, London: Thames & Hudson, 1975, Third ed. published in Britain as The Brutality of Fact, 1987, Fourth ed. published as Interviews with Francis Bacon, 1993

Spender, Stephen, “Der Tradition eine neue Wendung geben’, Ein Gespräch mit dem Maler Francis Bacon’, Die Weltwoche, Zurich, 19 October 1962, p.27


Peppiatt, Michael, Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma, London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1996

Farson, Daniel, The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon, London: Century, 1993

Sinclair, Andrew, Francis Bacon: His Life and Violent Times, London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1993


Wall, Anthony (Prod.) and Adam Low (Dir.), Bacon’s Arena [TV Programme]. UK: The Estate of Francis Bacon and BBC Television for Arena, 2005

Hilton, David (Prod. & Dir.), Francis Bacon [TV Programme]. Interview and editing by Melvyn Bragg. London: London Weekend Television, South Bank Show, 1985

Nears, Colin (Prod.), and Gavin Millar (Dir.), Francis Bacon: Grand Palais 1971 [TV Programme]. Interview with Gavin Millar. UK: BBC Television, 1971

Gill, Michael (Dir.), Sunday Night Francis Bacon [TV Programme]. Interview with David Sylvester. UK: BBC Television, 1966

Burger, Alexandre (Prod.), and Pierre Koralnik (Dir.), Francis Bacon [TV Programme]. Switzerland: Radio Télévision Suisse Romande, 1964

Thompson, David (Dir.), Francis Bacon: Paintings 1944-62. Music by Elizabeth Lutyens. London: Samaritan Films. Distributor: Gala Film, 1962