A Francis Bacon exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

Francis Bacon, House In Barbados, 1952
© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved.

The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation is taking part in the exhibition 'Francis Bacon: from Picasso to Velázquez', held at the Guggenheim Bilbao from 30 September 2016 to 8 January 2017. This show follows on from the exhibition 'Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture', which was presented in Monaco from 2 July to 4 September 2016, organized by the Grimaldi Forum under the auspices of the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation. The Bilbao exhibition invites us to discover a selection of seventy-seven paintings, including fifty works by Bacon, and to explore the influence of French and Spanish culture on his art. While a fervent Francophile, Bacon was also well-versed in the work of the great Spanish masters. The show is being curated by Martin Harrison, who was the curator of the Monaco exhibition and is a member of the Foundation’s board.

On this occasion our institution is lending a unique work in Bacon’s oeuvre: House in Barbados, 1952. It depicts a house belonging to Peter Lacy, whom Bacon considered the great love of his life. Lacy asked Bacon to paint his house on the Caribbean island from a photograph; a request accepted by the artist contrary to his usual practice. This painting was probably also inspired by a loose page found among Bacon’s working documents in his Reece Mews studio, showing the Velázquez painting View from the Villa Medici in Rome (Afternoon), circa 1650-1651.

Photograph of Peter Lacy’s house in Barbados, c. 1950

View from the Villa Medici in Rome (Afternoon), c.1650-1651 by Diego Velázquez (leaf from Enrique Lafuente Ferrari’s book, Velázquez, published in 1960)
Collection Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane