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Posted on 2023-11-22 04:37:01 in MISCELLANEOUS
Bacon Review, 'Francis Bacon '... to be an Egyptian' by Yvonne Scott


Egyptian influence can be seen not only in Bacon’s painting of objects but also in his portraits. In her essay in the inaugural Bacon Review, Yvonne Scott discusses the similarities between his portraits and the representations of Pharaoh Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti. Of the paintings 'Head' 1956, 'Portrait of Lisa' 1956 & 'Portrait of Lisa' 1957 she writes:


"These portraits indicate a familiarity with the range of sculpted busts held in the Neus Museum in Berlin, and reproduced in books Bacon owned. It has been observed that 'Head', 1956, suggests a portrait bust of Akhenaten, while the other two portraits have been related to the most famous representations of Queen Nefertiti."


Bacon Review, 'Francis Bacon '... to be an Egyptian' by Yvonne Scott



Triptychs are a common format in Bacon's portraiture work. Scott notes how some institutions display sculptured portraits from different angles so the viewer can see all the details. She highlights the influence of Cairo Museum's ivory figures of Pharaoh Cheops on Bacon's 'Three Studies for Portrait of Isabel Rawthorne' (1965).


She writes “Bacon adopted this tripartite method for selected portraits, as though similarly giving multiple views of a single object but, in his case, suggesting less the recording practice of archaeology and law enforcement, and more an awareness of psychological complexity and nuance.” 


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