If you missed the Francis Bacon exhibit at the Museo Del Prado in Madrid back in the early part of the year, you have a second chance this summer. The reclusive artist, who produced only around 1,000 paintings in his 83-year life, is well represented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, with a large show that traces the artist’s career from a false start in 1933 through his twilight in the 1980s.
The collection is, to say the least, extensive. Each room highlights a period in Bacon’s life, from his haunting work in the 1940s to the “man in a cage” theme that followed. The exhibit also tracks Bacon’s love life, with paintings of George Dyer and John Edwards, for example, in abundance. Surprisingly, the breadth of the New York show is even greater than that of Madrid.
The true success of this show, however, is in the targeted success the Metropolitan Museum of Art realized in securing related paintings. Several of Bacon’s interpretations of Velazquez’s Pope Innocent X work can be viewed side-by-side – a rare treat for Bacon fiends and art lovers in general.
If you can’t make it to Manhattan this summer, don’t worry. The Bacon centennial celebration will continue later this year at the Tate in London.