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Art & Artists / Exhibitions / Francis Bacon and the Masters

Francis Bacon - Portrait of R.J. Sainsbury Chaïm Soutine - Self-Portrait Alonso Cano - The Crucifixion Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn - Portrait of an Old Man Francis Bacon - Head of a Man Francis Bacon - Crucifixion

Francis Bacon and the Masters

18 April - 26 July 2015

Exhibition Guide

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Wall texts, captions and labels

Francis Bacon and the Masters was a groundbreaking exhibition bringing together over 100 major works, by Francis Bacon with old and modern masters including Velázquez, Rembrandt, Titian, Michelangelo, Rodin, Van Gogh, Picasso and Matisse.

Francis Bacon and the Masters formed the culmination of the celebrations marking the 250th anniversary of the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg coincides with the UK/Russia Year of Culture in the UK. The exhibition, a result of four and a half years of planning was a historic collaboration between the Sainsbury Centre and State Hermitage Museum and is the first in an ongoing relationship.

Masterpieces on loan from the Hermitage include those by artists such as Velázquez, Rembrandt, Titian, Michelangelo, Rodin, Van Gogh, Picasso, Cézanne, Gauguin and Matisse. Many of these works have never before been shown in the UK.

The exhibition explored Bacon's obsession with the art of the past, examining how he consistently drew on the work of masters such as Michelangelo, Velázquez and Degas, as well as to the stylized forms of ancient Greek and Roman works.

Working alongside colleagues from the Sainsbury Centre and State Hermitage Museum, Francis Bacon and the Masters was curated by Dr Thierry Morel, whose previous exhibition Houghton Revisited attracted wide international acclaim.

A fully illustrated catalogue in English and Russian, with contributions from Dr Margarita Cappock, Calvin Winner, Amanda Geitner, Professor Paul Joannides and Dr Thierry Morel accompanies the exhibition.

Exhibition design by Andres Ros Soto and exhibition graphics by Giles Round.



Bacon, Francis (1909 - 1992) Study for a Portrait of Van Gogh I England, 1956 Oil on canvas h 154.1 x w 115.6 cm (frame: 164.2 x 129 x 5.7) UEA 31 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2014.