The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Sotheby's to offer painting from Bacon's most acclaimed series, unseen in public for nearly 40 years
Francis Bacon, Untitled (Pope), 1954. Estimate: $18/25 million (£11/15 million. Photo: Sotheby's.
LONDON.- On 13 November 2012 Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York will offer one of the most important versions of Francis Bacon’s iconic Pope Paintings ever to have appeared at auction. The vision of screaming Popes emerged from the desolate shadows of the Second World War as humanity tried to make sense of the horrors that had been committed during those years. This version was painted circa 1954 and is closely related to the artist’s Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, the seminal masterpiece that is now housed in the Des Moines Art Center in Iowa. Untitled (Pope) has been in the same private collection since a 1975 auction at Sotheby’s London and is estimated to fetch $18/25 million (£11/15 million)*. The work goes on public exhibition for the first time in nearly 40 years at Sotheby’s Los Angeles on 27 September before being shown in London from 7 October and Doha later this autumn.

Francis Bacon’s Pope portraits are some of the most radical and provocative paintings to have appeared in the years immediately following World War II. The viewer is presented with the Supreme Pontiff, the totem of enlightened perception and order against chaos, violently wracked by the brutal terror of the post-war reality. The Papal imagery and its inspiration first started to appear in Bacon’s work in the late 1940s, however this version is more closely allied to a cycle of eight Study for Portraits from 1953 that were created for an exhibition at Durlacher Brothers in New York – Bacon’s first show outside England. These paintings can be found in museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Hirshhorn in Washington D.C., the Minneapolis Institute, the Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College as well as several distinguished private collections, but this painting most closely relates to the pivotal version in Des Moines.

This series is based upon the 1649 state portrait of Pope Innocent X by Diego Velázquez, court painter to King Phillip IV of Spain. Velázquez dutifully portrays Innocent as the most powerful man in the world surrounded by the luxurious trappings of his office, yet also as a fallible mortal who must face the burdens and pitfalls of his position. In Untitled (Pope) Bacon removes the idiosyncrasies of the grand state portrait. They are replaced by a more intimate depiction of pain and suffering inspired by the screaming nurse figure in Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 movie The Battleship Potemkin and the clenched fist from Edweard Muybridge’s photograph Striking a Blow with the Right Hand.

It has previously been thought that Bacon had not seen the Velázquez original when he painted this circa 1954 work. However, new research has suggested that he could have been familiar with another version of the Innocent X painting. A smaller rendering belonged to the Duke of Wellington and was housed at Apsley House in London, just a short walk from Bacon’s studio at the Royal College of Art. Apsley House was opened to the public in 1952 meaning Bacon could well have studied this version at first-hand prior to starting his cycle of papal portraits.

Francis Bacon’s depictions of Popes are among his most important paintings encompassing many of the themes and iconography that fueled his artistic output over the following decades. Untitled (Pope) is emblematic of these, and of an artist who had such a dramatic effect on post-war art.


*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium





Today's News

September 28, 2012

Renoir painting withdrawn from auction; stolen from Baltimore Museum of Art in 1951

Phillips de Pury & Co announces highlights from London October Contemporary Art Auctions

Kunsthaus Zürich exhibiting over fifty prints by the French painter Paul Gauguin

Isleworth Mona Lisa conjures new art world mystery as foundation presents the painting today

Peter Zumthor awarded 2013 Royal Gold Medal for architecture by the Royal Institute of British Architects

Mark Grotjahn's first exhibition of painted bronze sculptures on view at Gagosian Gallery

Sotheby's to offer painting from Bacon's most acclaimed series, unseen in public for nearly 40 years

Vatican paper L'Osservatore Romano weighs on 'Jesus' Wife' Coptic papyrus fragment: fake

Whitechapel Gallery presents rarely seen works of art from the Collection Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Major retrospective of Ken Whisson's work opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

George Eastman House announces appointment of Dr. Bruce Barnes as director

Phillips de Pury & Co. collaborates with charity Peace One Day on blockbuster exhibition 'AKA Peace'

Film and video works from the Goetz Collection on view at Haus der Kunst in Munich

Magnificient Elizabeth Frink bronzes at Bonhams Sale of 20th Century British and Irish Art

Three abstract films by Florian Pumhösl on view at Lisson Gallery in Milan

Records set for Simon Hantai , Michel Parmentier, Bertrand Lavier, Bernard Frize & Daniel Dezeuze

Runa Islam presents two new films in exhibition at White Cube Hoxton Square

Masterpieces formerly in the Collection of Monsieur and Madame Riahi to be offered at Christie's

Smithsonian features US national anthem in Spanish

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Newly discovered Van Gogh sketchbook to be published

2.- Portraits of the Duchess of Cambridge from British Vogue centenary issue acquired by National Portrait Gallery

3.- Foam presents spectacular exhibition of work by Helmut Newton

4.- After 30 years "hidden in plain sight," still life painting is identified as a Gauguin; artwork is highlight of sale

5.- Smithsonian releases Learning Lab for everyone to use museum resources

6.- Angst and deep pockets show state of art market in 47th edition of Art Basel

7.- Christo exhibition falls victim to own success

8.- Sotheby's London Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale totals $151.9 million

9.- The National Gallery explores great paintings from a unique perspective

10.- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum explores Caravaggio and the painters of the north



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemariasound.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful