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CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ FOCUS: CROUCHING NUDE, 1961

Posted on 2022-03-17 07:59:31 in CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ FOCUS
Crouching Nude, 1961. Oil on canvas. CR no. 61-14. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2022. All rights reserved.
Crouching Nude, 1961. Oil on canvas. CR no. 61-14. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2022. All rights reserved.

Last month we discussed the influence of Eadward Muybridge’s photographs of humans and animals on Bacon’s work. In this Catalogue Raisonné focus, we study Crouching Nude, 1961, which also alludes to Muybridge’s influence, among others. In this painting, the leaning-on-the-elbow posture corresponds to a frame from Muybridge’s sequence, ‘Woman turning and rising from sitting on the floor’.

Excerpt: Martin Harrison, Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné (London: The Estate of Francis Bacon Publishing, 2016 p. 652).

Another influence that can be seen in this painting is the work of Chaïm Soutine, whose unconventional methods became famous in the 1920’s. In 2011 an exhibition at the Helly Nahmad Gallery, New York, was based on the hypothesis that Soutine’s carcasses were a trigger for Bacon’s essential vision, possibly even the reason he was to become a painter. This view is shared by others; Damien Hirst once said that ‘without Soutine there would be no Bacon.”

Among the nudes that Bacon had painted since Lying Figure, 1959 (59‑06), Crouching Nude is more Soutine-like even than Seated Woman, 1961 (61‑03), in the deformation of the rubbery, boneless, attenuated limbs, and in the torsion of the woman’s legs and left arm.

Among John Deakin’s photographs of the nude Henrietta Moraes on her bed are several frames in which she is lying in a position that is strikingly similar to this painting. The photographs have hitherto been dated c. 1962, but the parallels between them and Crouching Nude argue for an earlier date.

Excerpt: Martin Harrison, Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné (London: The Estate of Francis Bacon Publishing, 2016 p. 652).

Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné can be purchased through our distributor’s website

Keywords:

Soutine Damien hirst Henrietta moraes John deakin Francis bacon The estate of francis bacon Catalogue raisonné Catalogue raisonné focus Martin harrison Eadweard muybridge