Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Bacon and Picasso Bullfighting

Dublin 1902- 1992 Madrid (Irish/ British)

Title: Study for a Bullfight - Centre Panel, 1987/1989

Technique: Hand Signed and Numbered lithograph on Arches Vellum paper

Paper Size: 94.5 x 68 cm / 37.25 x 26.75 in

Image Size: 68.5 x 50.5 cm / 27 x 19.9 in

Additional Information: This lithograph is hand signed in pencil by the artist "Francis Bacon" at the lower right margins, and also hand numbered in pencil in the lower left margins "130/180". The work was printed and published in 1989 by Galerie Lelong, Paris in a limited edition of 180 hand signed and numbered impressions. It is based on the centre panel of the oil painting "Triptych 1987" which is now part of the estate of Francis Bacon. However, unlike the oil painting, this lithograph was never printed as part of a triptych but was printed as an individual work.
1.TACOU Alexandre, Francis Bacon: Estampes, Berville Editions
Reference: Tacou 27
2. SEBASTIER Bruno and Batache Eddy. 2012. Francis Bacon : Oeuvre Graphique / Graphic Work, Catalogue raisonné. France: JSC Modern Art Gallery
Reference: Sebastier 25.

 'Picasso is the reason why I paint. He is the father figure, who gave me the wish to paint.'
Francis Bacon

 Bacon, like many British artists of his time, was undoubtedly influenced by the works of Pablo Picasso. From forms of expression to even subjects, Bacon could not escape the allure of Picasso's primitive creations of animals. This work by Bacon demonstrates his own interpretation of a bullfight by using aggressive swirling movements of flesh he evokes the body of the bullfighter. Bare and exposed to the viewer, the bullfighters legs are strongly contrasted with the bright orange and blue background that surrounds him. Compared to Picasso's interpretation of a bullfighting seen below, Bacon's image seems very raw and focused on the human form of the fighter taking on the movements of the bull.
However Picasso's plate is similar to Bacon, in the sense that both use this warm and inviting orange to draw the viewer into the work, then contrasting this with bold black outlines, though Picasso focuses more on the primitive and static movements of the animal rather than the bullfighter himself.

Málaga 1881-1973 Mougins (Spanish)

Title: Bullfighting Scene / Scène de Tauromachie,1957

Technique: Original Stamped, Numbered and Incised Terracotta Ceramic Plate

Diameter: 23 cm / 9 in

Additional Information: This original circular ceramic plate was realised by the artist, Pablo Picasso. It was incised "Edition Picasso/Madoura" and numbered "19/500. It was also stamped  "Edition Picasso/Madoura"This work was conceived on 22 January 1957 and executed in an edition of 500.

In 1946 Picasso in Golfe Juan with his friend Louis Fort, decided to visit the pottery exhibition in Vallauris. He took a particular interest in the Madoura stand and asked to be introduced to the owners - Suzanne and Georges Ramié. They invited him to their Madoura Pottery workshop in Vallauris. There he made three pieces which he left to dry and bake. A year later Picasso returned to see how the pieces had turned out. He was delighted with the quality of the work and asked if he could make more. They agreed and an area of the workshop was arranged especially for him. Immediately, he began to work, inspired by his portfolio of sketches. So began a long and very productive partnership between Picasso and Madoura. The whole Madoura team became part of the creative process. They made sure Picasso had all the materials he needed and assisted in producing perfectly finished works of art. Suzanne Ramié shared her vast experience, teaching him all the secrets of ceramics.The ceramics ranged from vases, sculptures, plaques to even a complete dinner service. The familiar themes included bullfighting scenes, portraits and nature - goats, birds, and fish. In 24 years over 633 pieces were created in limited editions all engraved with the Madoura stamp.

Literature: Ramié, Alain, 1988, Picasso, Catalogue of the Edited Ceramic Works 1947-1971, Madoura.
Reference: Ramie 393

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