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Posted on 2023-04-27 05:37:39 in CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ FOCUS
Landscape with Pope/ Dictator, c. 1946. Oil on canvas. CR no. 46-05. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2023. All rights reserved.
Landscape with Pope/ Dictator, c. 1946. Oil on canvas. CR no. 46-05. © The Estate of Francis Bacon / DACS London 2023. All rights reserved.

Today marks the 31st anniversary of Francis Bacon’s death and seven years since the publication of the Catalogue Raisonné, the definitive compilation of the artist’s completed works. 

This was a project that took art historians Martin Harrison (Editor) and Rebecca Daniels (Associate Editor) ten years to research and assemble. In the process of doing so more than a hundred paintings were discovered that hadn’t been previously documented. 

Harrison was quoted in an article in The Guardian to coincide with the book’s launch: 

Irrespective of the care taken in documenting his extant oeuvre, the great revelation of the new catalogue raisonné will be that, for the first time, Bacon’s entire output can be seen and assessed. 


One of these newly discovered paintings was the first in one of Bacon’s best-known series, the Screaming Popes, which Harrison found stored in a warehouse. 

Landscape with Pope/Dictator’, is one of a very small number of his paintings in which the attributes of a Catholic clergymanincluding the traditional biretta capare combined with the secular garb of the political leader, such as a suit or uniform, shirt, and tie. Fascist propaganda could have provided some of the inspiration for these, alongside the original painting by Velázquez.

On 19 October 1946 Bacon wrote: I am working on 3 sketches of the Velasquez portrait of Pope Innocent II [sic]. I have practically finished one’. This would seem to be one of the paintings that Bacon was describing.

Excerpt: Martin Harrison, Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné (London: The Estate of Francis Bacon Publishing, 2016 p. 176).

There followed around 50 more paintings featuring Velazquez’s Pope Innocent X, even though he was believed to have never seen the original. Later in his life he was to admit that he regretted adopting a painting that could not be improved upon. 


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


Francis bacon Catalogue raisonné focus Martin harrison Anniversary Catalogue raisonné