Second Version of Triptych 1944

Second Version of Triptych 1944
File:Second Version of Triptych 1944.jpg
Artist Francis Bacon
Year 1988
Type Oil and acrylic on canvas
Dimensions 198 cm × 148 cm (78 in × 58 in)
Location Tate Britain, London

Second Version of Triptych 1944 is a 1988 triptych painted by the Irish-born artist Francis Bacon. It is a reworking of Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, 1944, Bacon's most widely known triptych, and the one which established his reputation as England's foremost post-war painters.

Bacon often painted second versions of his major paintings, including Painting (1946), which he reworked in 1971 when the original became too fragile to transport to exhibitions.[1] In 1988, Bacon completed this near copy of the Three Studies. At 78 × 58 inches, this second version is over twice the size of the original, while the orange background has been replaced by a blood-red hue. His reason for creating this rework remain unclear, although Bacon did say to Richard Cook that he "always wanted to make a larger version of the first [Three Studies...]. I thought it could come off, but I think the first is better. I would have had to use the orange again so as to give a shock, that which red dissolves. But the tedium of doing it perhalps dissuaded me, because mixing that orange with pastel and then crushing it was an enormous job."[2]

The figures occupy a proportionally smaller space on the canvas than in the 1944 version, a presentation that, according to the Tate Gallery's catalogue, "plung[es] them into a deep void".[3] Critical opinion was mixed and the triptych drew criticism from those who felt that its more refined painting technique robbed the image of much of its power.[4] Denis Farr suggested that while the second version's larger scale gave it "a majestic quality which is highly effective", its svelte presentation lessened its shock value.[1] Critic Jonathan Meades felt that though the 1988 triptych was a more polished and painterly work, it lacked the rawness of the original.[5]



  • Farr, Dennis; Peppiatt, Michael; Yard, Sally. Francis Bacon: A Retrospective. Harry N Abrams, 1999. ISBN 0-8109-2925-2

External links

  • Concise entry at Tate Online

Template:Francis Bacon (artist)

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.