Snarling into the Abyss: An analytical account of the psychological meaning of distortion in Francis Bacon’s (1909-1992) portraiture

By: Mark A. Elliot

Abstract: In addressing this topic, the article will firstly give an introduction to the life and work of Francis Bacon, this is followed by a discussion of the meaning of distortion in a general sense, and then with specific reference to Bacon’s art. Prior to analyzing Bacon’s motivation to distort it is necessary to outline the effect which distortion has on observers of his art. Both Bacon’s conscious and subconscious motivations to distort are then theorized and discussed.