Study for Crouching Nude

Francis Bacon English, 1910-1992
Not On View
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About the Artwork

Few painters have defined the post–World War II era with its existential loathing better than Francis Bacon, the brilliant son of an Irish horse trainer. His breakthrough came with a 1945 triptych, ostensibly a Crucifixion but more properly described as ghouls gathered around a spectacle of human degradation. Bars and railings, as in Study for Nude, separate the incarcerated subject from the curious spectator. His scenes appear airless and contained within imaginary glass walls. The artist's asthmatic condition may have contributed to the aura of suffocation that weighs down these voyeuristic nightmares. The sources for Bacon's pictures are surprisingly diverse. He borrowed from Eisenstein's movie stills, Velázquez's court scenes, and Joyce's meandering writings, as well as from medical textbooks, the tabloids, and Muybridge's photographic experiments in motion.

Study for Crouching Nude

1952

Francis Bacon

1910-1992

English

Unknown

Oil and sand on canvas

Unframed: 78 × 54 inches (198.1 × 137.2 cm) Framed: 85 3/8 × 61 1/2 × 3 7/8 inches (216.9 × 156.2 × 9.8 cm)

Paintings

European Modern Art to 1970

Gift of Dr. Wilhelm R. Valentiner

55.353

Copyright not assessed, please contact [email protected].

Markings

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Provenance

Hanover Gallery (London, England)

William Valentiner

1955-present, gift to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

For more information on provenance and its important function in the museum, please visit:

Provenance page

Exhibition History

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The exhibition history of a number of objects in our collection only begins after their acquisition by the museum, and may reflect an incomplete record.

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Published References

Alley, R. Francis Bacon. London, 1964, no.37, p.56 (ill.).

Masterpieces of Art in Memory of W.R. Valentiner. North Carolina Museum of Art. Raleigh, 1959, supplement 68. [not in exhibition]

Bulletin of the DIA 36, 1 (1956): pp. 16-17, (ill.).

Russell, J. Francis Bacon. Greenwich, CT., 1971.

Gale, Matthew, and Chris Stephens, eds. FRANCIS BACON. Tate Gallery. London, 2008, pp. 43, 107, 110, 118, 166, 167.

Gale, Matthew and Chris Stephens. FRANCIS BACON. Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2009, pp. 23, 43, 49, 118, 122-123, 130, 165, 178, 179.

Francis Bacon. The National Museum of Modern Art. Tokyo, 2013: p.28-29 (ill.).

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Catalogue Raisoneé

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Credit Line for Reproduction

Francis Bacon, Study for Crouching Nude, 1952, oil and sand on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts, Gift of Dr. Wilhelm R. Valentiner, 55.353.

Study for Crouching Nude
Study for Crouching Nude