Unseen Final Painting of Francis Bacon Revealed in Catalogue Raisonne, Exhibition

  • Francis Bacon photographed in the early 1980s

    Francis Bacon photographed in the early 1980s

A "very private collection" in London has yielded the final painting of renowned Irish-born British artist Francis Bacon, reports the Guardian. Art historian Martin Harrison says the work has never been publicly seen or published.

Harrison's forthcoming catalogue raisonne of the artist will reveal Study of a Bull from 1991, painted a few months before Bacon's death in Madrid in April 1992. It powerfully depicts a softly rendered bull against a black and white void, and is sprinkled with dust from Bacon's studio.

The rediscovered work will be one of 100 works published for the first time in Harrison's catalogue. In all, 584 examples by Bacon will be included in the lavish book, due out in April. The pricey catalogue set includes over 900 illustrations across five, cloth-bound hardcover volumes, exposing Bacon's entire ouevre. (To Harrison's chagrin, just one Bacon work remains missing: Head with Arm Raised, 1955.)

An exhibition curated by Harrison opens this summer, featuring both Bacon's last painting, Study of a Bull, and his first work, entitled Watercolour (1929). Francis Bacon, Monaco and French Culture debuts at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, July 2-September 4. It will then travel to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao from September 30-January 8.

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