Date of Issue: 24 April 2009
Francis Bacon was born at 63 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin on 28 October 1909. His parents had moved to Ireland from England to breed and train racehorses. Francis left home at the age of 16 after an argument with his father, travelling to London, Berlin and Paris.
It was in Paris that he was inspired to become an artist, when he visited an exhibition of Picasso drawings in 1927. Returning to London at the end of the 1920s, he found some measure of fame as an interior designer, but Francis Bacon's destiny lay elsewhere. He devoted himself to painting. His breakthrough came with 'Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion' in 1944. A series of paintings of heads, often depicted violently, sealed his reputation as a major artistic figure.