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Francis Bacon's Portraits


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14 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

Hi Eric,

Just come across a portrait of the Great One in Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, Bacon is Shake-speare (New York: John McBride Co., 1910), p. 192 about which we thought we'd ask your expert opinion.

The Phoenixes.

EDL.jpg

Hi Phoenixes. Great find! I've never seen this portrait before. So far, I haven't gotten very far with investigating it. 

The B&W photo of it is available from Bridgeman Images and is catalogued as belonging to Philip Mould of Antiques Roadshow and Fake or Fortune fame. https://www.bridgemanimages.com/it/english-school/portrait-of-francis-bacon-1561-1626-c-1600-panel-b-w-photo/nomedium/asset/84830 The date of 1600 and the attribution to Van Somer seem a little dubious to me. 

The actual painting was sold at Sotheby's in London in 1991 as dating from 1620 by an anonymous artist.

https://www.akg-images.de/archive/Francis-Bacon-2UMEBMB6YN29E.html

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By over-exposing the image more details emerge.

image.png.80a0eabf3f52d54827ac3e1fd1227a10.png

The robe the figure is wearing doesn't look like Bacon's familiar black and gold Lord Chancellor's gown which you'd expect if the 1620 date is correct. The face of the sitter in this picture has only a slight resemblance to his other known portraits, but perhaps this is subjective on my part. See what you think:

image.png.0b034404cffaeb88eecda103c624ebbe.png

The style of ruff in the Duke of Fife's picture is very like the one Francis was wearing in 1578 in the miniature by Hilliard (bottom right). All the other portraits show him wearing more ornate lace ruffs. Here's a video about the evolution of the ruff: 

What is the significance of the parchment in his right hand, I wonder. Sorry I can't be of more help.

For now, it's a definite maybe.

 

Edited by Eric Roberts
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12 hours ago, Light-of-Truth said:

On Thanksgiving Theresa and I met a nice young girl from Theresa's daughter's new in-law family. Maybe 21 years old; pretty, bright, and sharp as a tack. She is going on a 14 day tour soon with a group to England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. Stonehenge, Strawberry Fields, etc. are on the agenda. Stratford on Avon did not come up. We connected a bit during dinner on a few topics, she gave me a hug "Nice to meet you!" as we were leaving. I told her in front of everyone, "Always remember, Bacon wrote Shakespeare". Her eyes were like a deer's in headlights. I repeated, "Never forget that, Bacon wrote Shakespeare" as we were heading out the front door, smiling at the poor girl who may never be the same. She may forget what I said in time. She may not go anywhere with it immediately, but I hope it is on her mind on her 14 day British tour coming up. 😉

Theresa's daughter is well aware of my Baconian passion, so if Katie was curious enough to ask after we left, Angie would have told her that Bacon my "thing" in life. 😉

 

 

 

She needs to go on a 14 week tour and do some proper exploring. There ought to be guided tours of Francis Bacon sites!

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39 minutes ago, A Phoenix said:

Hi Eric,

Brilliant sleuthing and in such a short amount of time!

Great to see the original painting.

Thank you for all the other all information and commentary. 

We concur with your provisional opinion-a definite maybe!

Did Francis carry a sword, ceremonial or otherwise? None of the other pictures show him as being armed with a weapon. 

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Hi Eric,

I am not aware that FB carried a sword and considering his Incomparable Grand Philosophical Mind I have never imagined him doing so in everyday life but of course he might very well have been required to carry a ceremonial sword on various state and/or royal occassions. 

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10 hours ago, Eric Roberts said:

Hi Phoenixes. Great find! I've never seen this portrait before. So far, I haven't gotten very far with investigating it. 

The B&W photo of it is available from Bridgeman Images and is catalogued as belonging to Philip Mould of Antiques Roadshow and Fake or Fortune fame. https://www.bridgemanimages.com/it/english-school/portrait-of-francis-bacon-1561-1626-c-1600-panel-b-w-photo/nomedium/asset/84830 The date of 1600 and the attribution to Van Somer seem a little dubious to me. 

The actual painting was sold at Sotheby's in London in 1991 as dating from 1620 by an anonymous artist.

https://www.akg-images.de/archive/Francis-Bacon-2UMEBMB6YN29E.html

image.png.6f43b82dd9de2d2b1648e29fb4ade180.png

By over-exposing the image more details emerge.

image.png.80a0eabf3f52d54827ac3e1fd1227a10.png

The robe the figure is wearing doesn't look like Bacon's familiar black and gold Lord Chancellor's gown which you'd expect if the 1620 date is correct. The face of the sitter in this picture has only a slight resemblance to his other known portraits, but perhaps this is subjective on my part. See what you think:

image.png.0b034404cffaeb88eecda103c624ebbe.png

The style of ruff in the Duke of Fife's picture is very like the one Francis was wearing in 1578 in the miniature by Hilliard (bottom right). All the other portraits show him wearing more ornate lace ruffs. Here's a video about the evolution of the ruff: 

What is the significance of the parchment in his right hand, I wonder. Sorry I can't be of more help.

For now, it's a definite maybe.

 

Fascinating video, Eric! Thanks for sharing 

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On 11/28/2022 at 11:27 AM, A Phoenix said:

Hi Eric,

I am not aware that FB carried a sword and considering his Incomparable Grand Philosophical Mind I have never imagined him doing so in everyday life but of course he might very well have been required to carry a ceremonial sword on various state and/or royal occassions. 

Hi A Phoenix,

Your comment reminds me the engraving of Francis Bacon discovered  few months ago by Julie Kemp, with a hat and a sword in the background.

https://sirbacon.org/bacon-forum/index.php?/topic/84-portraits-and-engravings-of-francis-bacon/#comment-388

 

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51 minutes ago, Light-of-Truth said:

We missed you Yann! Hope your headaches have gone away.

I've thought about you and your skills several times recently whishing I could do the same. LOL

 

 

 

Thank you Rob and A Phoenix ! ❤️ You missed me too ! The withdrawal was difficult but was necessary and bore its fruits. 🙂 I am delighted to be with you again.

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12 hours ago, Eric Roberts said:

Welcome back Yann. Now you can continue to "bring home the Bacon"😁

Thank you Eric !❤️ It seems that in the last few days each and every one of you brought home the Bacon, except perhaps A Phoenix who brought home the entire SOW  ! 😊

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  • 2 weeks later...

Reproduced in the Phoenixes' illuminating paper, "Francis Bacon's Death" is an engraving of Lord Bacon by Crispijn van de Passe the Younger (c. 1597-1670) which I'd never seen before. Except for one thing, it's a fairly faithful copy of an earlier engraving by his brother, Simon (1595-1647). The difference is noticeable at once: Francis's face has aged dramatically. Why would Crispijn van de Passe meticulously reproduce his older brother's engraving and at the same time deliberately age his sitter by a good twenty years? Any theories?

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Unlike his brother, Simon, Crispijn never came to England, but like his father, Crispijn van de Passe the Elder (1564-1637), produced engravings for the English market while being based on the Continent (Utrecht, Amsterdam, Paris, Cologne, etc.) It is not impossible that he could have known Lord Bacon - after he left England to live incognito in Europe. It just might be a rendering from life. Who knows? I don't think it's because Crispijn was incompetent that the two faces are so alike, yet so different. And why has the famous hat - which appears in every portrait of Bacon except the one at Gorhambury - been removed? 

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Also in the Phoenixes' paper, "Francis Bacon's Death" is this brief statement regarding the monumental marble sculpture of Lord Bacon in St Michael's Church, St Albans. "There seems every chance that Inigo Jones and Nicholas Stone were directly involved in the design and construction of the Bacon monument at St Michael’s Church". The inscription states that the sculpture was installed in its niche in the same year that Bacon supposedly died. If as it appears, this is so, that the sculpture was carved by Nicholas Stone, perhaps the foremost "mason-sculptor" of his day, in the same year that he became by royal appointment "master mason and architect" to Windsor Castle (in 1632 he succeeded William Cure as Master Mason to the Crown) then we can assume that the face of the sculpture is a good likeness. In fact, one could say it is an almost contemporary portrait of a Rosicrucian Master, Lord Bacon, by two of his devoted and highly talented Brothers.

Unfortunately, no one has apparently bothered to photographically document the sculpture in situ properly. We cannot get a good look at the face. A pity, since this might be the closest we can get to seeing the real Francis Bacon as his friends knew him before he disappeared. Here's the best image I could find.

image.png.058644c321b281455ab0006e01ebe378.png

I wonder if Francis actually posed for his own funerary monument?

 

Edited by Eric Roberts
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Hi Eric,

Brilliant spot and analysis.

I think you are first in history to place this engraving by Crispijn van de Passe in its proper context relating to Lord Bacon and his supposed death in 1626. We agree with you that it is intended to represent an older looking Lord Bacon and it is entirely possible that it is meant to convey to the initiated and to posterity for those with eyes to see that FB did not die in 1626 but travelled abroad where he lived for a long time thereafter.  

The removal of the hat is also indeed very curious. . .

Great work Eric!👍

Edited by A Phoenix
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Hi Eric,

I second The Phoenixes. Many thanks for this brilliant analysis.❤️

To answer your questions, here are some ideas ...

The "young/old" Bacon could also be related to Janus. 

Janus_and_Bellona%2C_Sch%C3%B6nbrunn_Garden.JPG

[[File:Janus and Bellona, Schönbrunn Garden.JPG Janus and Bellona, Schönbrunn Garden]]

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Janus_and_Bellona,_Schönbrunn_Garden.JPG?uselang=fr

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.fr

It reminds me the "Janus-like" Portrait of Milton ...

1024px-1645_Titlepage.JPG

The original uploader was Esquilax8 at English Wikipedia., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1645_Titlepage.JPG

And regarding Francis Bacon's hat , I think that there is a connection with both the sculpture of Lord Bacon in St Michael's Church, St Albans (with the hat), and its "copy" in Trinity College (without the hat).

File:Statue of Francis Bacon in Trinity College, Cambridge.jpg - Wikimedia  Commons

Vysotsky (Wikimedia), CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Statue_of_Francis_Bacon_in_Trinity_College,_Cambridge.jpg

Could it be a reference to the Twins , like  with the Shakespeare's Monument in Westminster Abbey and the Statue of William Shakespeare at the Wilton House ?

See the work of Peter Dawkins on the Dark Twin and the Light Twin :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VBuepP3n80

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bGfpjVbA2E

By the way, regarding the sculpture of Lord Bacon in St Michael's Church, "The marble tomb was erected by the care and gratitude of Sir Thomas Meautys, Knight, Bacon's secretary"

https://sirbacon.org/links/tomb.html

Here is a portrait of Sir Thomas Meautys by Daniel Mytens (c. 1590 - 1647/48)

https://www.meisterdrucke.fr/fine-art-prints/Daniel-Mytens/243612/Sir-Thomas-Meautys-(d.1649).html

I found the dart/spear that he hold in his right hand interesting.

Could it be a clue ?

 

 

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Sorry for being a little off topic.

This is something regarding the epitath that had very probably already been found, but I have just realized it ... 

https://www.hertsmemories.org.uk/content/herts-history/topics/literary_hertfordshire/francis-bacon/st-michaels-church-st-albans

FRANCISCO BACON BARO DE VERULA S ALB VIC
SEV NOTIORIBUS TITULIS
SCIENTIARUM LUMEN FACUNDIAE LEX
SIC SEDEBAT


QVI POSTQVAM OMNIA NATVRALIS SAPIENTIAE
ET CIVILIS ARCANA EVOLVISSET
NATVRAE DECRETVM EXPLEVIT
COMPOSITA SOLVANTVR
ANO DNI MDCXXVI

AETAT LXVI

 

First line ...

image.png

 

74 = WILLIAM = TUDOR (simple cipher)

178 = WILL TUDOR (Kay cipher)

173 # R.C.

image.png.962f5d89aa58e82d67cc238c769c10c7.png

157 = FRA ROSI CROSSE = WILLIAM TUDOR I (simple cipher)

 

Edited by Allisnum2er
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10 hours ago, Allisnum2er said:

Hi Eric,

I second The Phoenixes. Many thanks for this brilliant analysis.❤️

To answer your questions, here are some ideas ...

The "young/old" Bacon could also be related to Janus. 

Janus_and_Bellona%2C_Sch%C3%B6nbrunn_Garden.JPG

[[File:Janus and Bellona, Schönbrunn Garden.JPG Janus and Bellona, Schönbrunn Garden]]

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Janus_and_Bellona,_Schönbrunn_Garden.JPG?uselang=fr

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.fr

It reminds me the "Janus-like" Portrait of Milton ...

1024px-1645_Titlepage.JPG

The original uploader was Esquilax8 at English Wikipedia., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1645_Titlepage.JPG

And regarding Francis Bacon's hat , I think that there is a connection with both the sculpture of Lord Bacon in St Michael's Church, St Albans (with the hat), and its "copy" in Trinity College (without the hat).

File:Statue of Francis Bacon in Trinity College, Cambridge.jpg - Wikimedia  Commons

Vysotsky (Wikimedia), CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Statue_of_Francis_Bacon_in_Trinity_College,_Cambridge.jpg

Could it be a reference to the Twins , like  with the Shakespeare's Monument in Westminster Abbey and the Statue of William Shakespeare at the Wilton House ?

See the work of Peter Dawkins on the Dark Twin and the Light Twin :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VBuepP3n80

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bGfpjVbA2E

By the way, regarding the sculpture of Lord Bacon in St Michael's Church, "The marble tomb was erected by the care and gratitude of Sir Thomas Meautys, Knight, Bacon's secretary"

https://sirbacon.org/links/tomb.html

Here is a portrait of Sir Thomas Meautys by Daniel Mytens (c. 1590 - 1647/48)

https://www.meisterdrucke.fr/fine-art-prints/Daniel-Mytens/243612/Sir-Thomas-Meautys-(d.1649).html

I found the dart/spear that he hold in his right hand interesting.

Could it be a clue ?

 

 

Thank you, Allisnum2er for all your information, clues, etc. The portrait by Mytens of Meautys is magnificent - what an outlandish outfit! Also, the fact that the Cambridge copy of the St Michael's statue is sans hat IS very odd. Like his shoe roses, I read somewhere that Bacon's beaver fur hat also had Rosicrucian significance - a symbol of his Grand Master status, perhaps? The removal of the hat could indicate that he no longer retains that role. (Cf. the two engravings by the van de Passe brothers of Lord Bacon with and without a hat.) I'll try to find out more about the Cambridge copy of the statue and get back to you soon.

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11 hours ago, Allisnum2er said:

Eric, A Phoenix, Rob, I have just found that !!! 😃

 

Does Francis Bacon look in the sky or does he look the stained glasses on his left ? 😉

 

"Does Francis Bacon look in the sky or does he look the stained glasses on his left ?

Hi Yann. You raise an interesting point. In both the St Michael's and Trinity College statues, Francis is depicted not with his eyes closed as if sleeping - which presumably would have been more conventional - but with his eyes open, staring into space, in the act of contemplation. Is this not a little unusual for a funerary monument? The statue shows Bacon as alive, not dead. 

image.jpeg.11ca92d7d782736ed6682ee9f878d1a4.jpeg

While on the subject of tombs, circa 1880 permission was given by Queen Victoria to Mr A Stanley to make a survey of the tombs of Westminster Abbey. In one of the vaults he discovered the coffins of sister Queens Mary and Elizabeth. Elizabeth's coffin was identified by a carving of a rose on the lid and the initials E.R. It could simply mean that she was of the House of Tudor, but it could also allude to secrecy.

image.png.333cf2cbd8c23f1fe900dede5d94024d.png

https://thetudortravelguide.com/2019/07/20/the-death-and-burial-of-elizabeth-i/

 

 

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Another shot of Henry Weekes' 1845 copy of the St Michael's monument, and an extract from a letter Francis wrote to the Deans of Cambridge:

Letter of Francis, Baron Verulam, and Viscount St Albans, to the famous College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Cambridge: ‘All things owe their existence and their progress to their beginnings; and, having drunk the first sips of knowledge from your springs, I feel that I should repay to you their increase.  I hope that my studies will flourish with you in a similar way, since Trinity is their native soil.  Wherefore I urge you, while retaining your modesty and res-pect for the ancients, not to cease from the furtherance of science as well; and to study diligently first the sacred volumes of the word of God and the Scriptures, and next to them the great volume of the works of God and his creation; all other books should be held to be mere aids to understanding these.  Farewell.’

image.png.2e84dac0219b9c163f007d467824a06b.png

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Hi everyone,

I would like to share with you something that I have just found.

This is probably already known by the Baconians, but just in case ...

My last research led me to Scévole de Saint Marthe.

Scévole de Saint Marthe led me to the University of Poitiers.

https://www.univ-poitiers.fr/choisir-luniversite/decouvrir-luniversite-de-poitiers/histoire-depuis-1431/

And Francis Bacon also studied for a time at the Universty of Poitiers when he was in France between 1576 and 1579.

On the book cover at the bottom of the web page, I recognized

Francis Bacon at the foot of the Statue of Minerva, the Spear-shaker,  with the missing arm holding her spear.

And on the left of BACON we have a reference to ... HAMLET !😀

Moreover, if we count Minerva as one of the characters, there are 33 characters in total.

The fresco was painting by Pierre Girieud  in 1931 .

 

image.png.d536d0643c078b1059cabe2a3d4326e6.png

Edited by Allisnum2er
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17 minutes ago, Allisnum2er said:

This is probably already known by the Baconians, but just in case ...

I did not know. You made me laugh!

Watching the video I tried to imagine Bacon young and eager, like all these beautiful students learning anything and everything available. Very nice image!

Synchronicity I was poking around randomly in the Plays and this line in Hamlet caught my attention:

https://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/doc/Ham_F1/page/10/index.html

Lord Hamlet is a Prince out of thy Starre,

And then I check the B'Hive and you share an image of Bacon as a student in Francis sitting next to Hamlet.

A few moments before I stumbled on this Hamlet line, I was for the first time learning that the French word "Dauphin" is also "Dolphin". Imagine my head swimming on that one. LOL

 

 

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T A A A A A A A A A A A T
157     www.Light-of-Truth.com     287
<-- 1 8 8 1 1
O 1 1 8 8 1 -->

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34 minutes ago, Light-of-Truth said:

A few moments before I stumbled on this Hamlet line, I was for the first time learning that the French word "Dauphin" is also "Dolphin". Imagine my head swimming on that one. LOL

Hi Rob, for the anecdote (and the synchronicity) here is an emblem taken from a page of the book that led me to Scévole de Sainte Marthe (knowing that Dictynna is mentionned on the same page 😉

image.png.34e3a7cb8a8d2d1998c42f2984388535.png

Notice the "back conies" the 33 formed by the two forks and the two "DOLPHIN"s (DOLPHIN=74)

I will share with you the other discoveries made in this book later.

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