%C2%A9 The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. %2F DACS%2C London %2F ARS%2C NY 2014

Study for Portrait VI, 1953


The human figure was Francis Bacon's principal object of study throughout his career. This picture belongs to a series of eight paintings, which began as a portrait of Bacon's friend and biographer David Sylvester but became, in the final project, studies of a seated pope. Inspired by Eadweard Muybridge's sequential photos of the human body in movement, Bacon made his figures more and more agititated until, in the final painting, the pope is convulsive. Here his ambiguous facial expression rests somewhere between the grimace of Portrait V and the horrific scream of Portrait VII.

This painting is one of the first Francis Bacon paintings acquired by an American museum.



Francis Bacon, Study for Portrait VI (#853)
Study for Portrait VI
Artist Life
British (born Ireland), 1909 - 1992
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2014

Because of © restrictions, we can only show you a small image of this artwork. (You'll have to come see it in person.)