Jump to content

Francis Bacon's Portraits


Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

It would seem to be FB later in his life.

The artistic detail and style are not familiar to his others, but it is Bacon as we know him. I'm eager to know more about this portrait!! ūüôā

 

  • Like 3

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 -->

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/25/2023 at 4:42 AM, A Phoenix said:

I missed this last November! Oh my! 

Was it Thanksgiving holiday chaos? Yet very happy to see today!

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

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 -->

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Eric Roberts said:

I especially enjoy the museum shelf displays of the letters and proven works of Willy Shakspur:

image.png.591bf2bcc176c0b514c6fc227061b3e8.png

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

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 -->

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 3/4/2024 at 3:25 AM, A Phoenix said:

Just came across this portrait of FB that is apparently in the Storico Archives at the oldest university in the world, The University of Bologna in Italy est. 1088. Have never seen this painting before and can't seem to find any other details about it. It would seem to be FB later in his life.

Portrait of Francis Bacon (Archivio Storico Università di Bologna, photo Mattei-Zannoni). 

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Portrait-of-Francis-Bacon-Archivio-Storico-Universita-di-Bologna-photo-Mattei-Zannoni_fig16_279407051

Portrait-of-Francis-Bacon-Archivio-Storico-Universita-di-Bologna-photo-Mattei-Zannoni.png

 

FrancisBaconBolognaPortrait.jpeg.14f343a0bcd2f1205816bdbf91849d84.jpeg

 

 

Dear Eric Roberts,

The collection of paintings of the University of Bologna consists of over 700 paintings, it was composed from an initial group of 303 portraits donated in 1754 by Cardinal Filippo Maria Monti to the library of the Institute of Sciences, together with all the books of his own library. 

The portrait of Francis Bacon belonged to this first group of paintings, as it is recorded in the inventory that is now preserved at the University Library (Elenchus illustrium virorum quorum pictae imagines e Pinacotheca cl. me. Cardinalis Montij una cum ejusdem Bibliothecae libris Bononiae trasferuntur. Ms. 424).

Many of the portraits owned by Cardinal Monti were painted by unknown artists who took the image of the characters from other paintings or most frequently from the engravings placed on the frontispieces of books which they were the authors. 

Here you can find the portait in our web catalogue 

https://archiviostorico.unibo.it/it/patrimonio-documentario/quadreria?record=19896

 

Best regards,

 

Pier Paolo Zannoni

Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna

Biblioteca Universitaria - Archivio storico dell'Università

via Zamboni 33

40126 Bologna

 

Comment: Even though it is not a "lost" contemporary portrait, it is nonetheless interesting as an example of a "fan" picture of Francis Bacon commissioned by an admirer, Cardinal Monti, sometime during the first half of the 18th century.

Monti began to collect books in the 1720s, some on religious or historical subjects but including many modern literary and scientific works. By the time of his death his library contained 11,000 volumes, mostly printed, including texts on theology, philosophy, canon law and literature. In accordance with the Pope's suggestion, Cardinal Monti bequeathed his entire library to the Academy of Sciences of Bologna Institute. He also gave the Institute a collection of (303) paintings which included portraits of major scientific figures. The library was formally opened in 1756.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filippo_Maria_Monti#:~:text=Filippo Maria Monti (or Cardinal,XIV on 9 September 1743.

 

The probable source of the image of Bacon that the artist used as a basis for an oil painting was Simon van der Passe's 1617 engraving from a book in Monti's collection - Compton Holland's Baziliologia - A Book of Kings (1618); Sylva Sylvarum (1626-27) or Advancement and Proficience of Learning (1640).ScreenShot2024-03-05at11_47_23pm.png.daad3ab386e0becca5c538f70eacb971.png

 

FrancisBaconBolognaPortrait2.png.5fafa4cbe509711b6e6965ca95663c4e.png

 

It's clearly not a slavish copy. The ruff is the artist's own re-invention, but the hatband remains the same. I'll say nothing about the rouge and lipstick. 

Hats off to A Phoenix for finding this obscure Italian reproduction. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Eric Roberts
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Wow! 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/21/2022 at 3:38 AM, Allisnum2er said:

(Notice the roses on his Buckle Shoes ūüôā¬†)

I agree, it's a significant feaure, but we should remember that it was the fashion to have roses decorating shoes at the time. Bacon's were tame compared to some of these others. But were his "Tudor roses?" "Roses/Rosettes," Fashion History Timeline, posted by Hyo Jeong Lee | Last updated Dec 13, 2018 | Published on Dec 14, 2018 | 17th century, R, term definition https://fashionhistory.fitnyc.edu/roses-rosettes/

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

 

A RECENT DISCOVERY

BY ALLISNUM2ER

 

 

John Crome’s Copy of a Portrait of Sir Francis Bacon after Paul van Somer

 https://www.artnet.com/artists/john-crome-the-elder/portrait-of-sir-francis-bacon-ZOfp3uMJpUSEKqdQJO3gvQ2

ScreenShot2024-03-28at5_59_19pm.png.4a3fe6a55d61a5938658dc6e18a5bcbb.png

 

These three pictures constitute the only portraits by John Crome (1768-1821) that I could find among the 300 + oil and watercolour paintings that are attributed to him. The two outer pictures are details from two self portraits. The central picture is his small copy of a Paul van Somer portrait of Sir Francis Bacon. John Crome spent his whole life in Norwich and became as well-known as Constable for his Norfolk landscapes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Crome

A Passion for Landscape: Rediscovering John Crome

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djv1WPKAC2k

Given the absence of portraiture in Crome‚Äôs body of work, it can only be assumed that the Bacon portrait was a special commission from one of the manorial estates in Norfolk. The county is closely associated with Sir Nicholas Bacon and his descendants. Siffkey Old Hall, Gillingham Hall, Earlham Hall, Garboldisham Old Hall, and Raveningham Hall are all connected with the extended Bacon family in Norfolk. There is a van Somer portrait of Francis Bacon at Raveningham. It is unusual because of its its dark red background. Crome‚Äôs copy also has a reddish background and is almost exactly the same size (22.5‚ÄĚ x 16.5‚ÄĚ). It can therefore be argued that Crome was commissioned to make a copy of the Raveningham portrait of Bacon by Paul van Somer, sometime before 1821.¬†¬†As far as we can tell, this was something he had never done before and never did again.

 

Edited by Eric Roberts
  • Like 2
  • Wow! 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Eric Roberts said:

 

A RECENT DISCOVERY

BY ALLISNUM2ER

 

 

John Crome’s Copy of a Portrait of Sir Francis Bacon after Paul van Somer

 https://www.artnet.com/artists/john-crome-the-elder/portrait-of-sir-francis-bacon-ZOfp3uMJpUSEKqdQJO3gvQ2

ScreenShot2024-03-28at5_59_19pm.png.4a3fe6a55d61a5938658dc6e18a5bcbb.png

 

These three pictures constitute the only portraits by John Crome (1768-1821) that I could find among the 300 + oil and watercolour paintings that are attributed to him. The two outer pictures are details from two self portraits. The central picture is his small copy of a Paul van Somer portrait of Sir Francis Bacon. John Crome spent his whole life in Norwich and became as well-known as Constable for his Norfolk landscapes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Crome

A Passion for Landscape: Rediscovering John Crome

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djv1WPKAC2k

Given the absence of portraiture in Crome‚Äôs body of work, it can only be assumed that the Bacon portrait was a special commission from one of the manorial estates in Norfolk. The county is closely associated with Sir Nicholas Bacon and his descendants. Redgrave Hall, Siffkey Old Hall, Gillingham Hall, Earlham Hall, Garboldisham Old Hall, and Raveningham Hall are all connected with the extended Bacon family in Norfolk. There is a van Somer portrait of Francis Bacon at Raveningham. It is unusual because of its its dark red background. Crome‚Äôs copy also has a reddish background and is almost exactly the same size (22.5‚ÄĚ x 16.5‚ÄĚ). It can therefore be argued that Crome was commissioned to make a copy of the Raveningham portrait of Bacon by Paul van Somer, sometime before 1821.¬†¬†As far as we can tell, this was something he had never done before and never did again.

 

 

On closer examination, it's apparent that John Crome has made an addition to the van Somer original. He has superimposed a scroll, presumably with some sort of inscription. The only available copy of this painting is so degraded that the writing is illegible. I've played with the image settings to no avail.JohnCromeBacon.jpeg.f1c2f96254687654664d6eef41dd4f3d.jpeg

 

 

 

Edited by Eric Roberts
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Eric Roberts said:

 

A RECENT DISCOVERY

BY ALLISNUM2ER

 

 

John Crome’s Copy of a Portrait of Sir Francis Bacon after Paul van Somer

 https://www.artnet.com/artists/john-crome-the-elder/portrait-of-sir-francis-bacon-ZOfp3uMJpUSEKqdQJO3gvQ2

ScreenShot2024-03-28at5_59_19pm.png.4a3fe6a55d61a5938658dc6e18a5bcbb.png

 

These three pictures constitute the only portraits by John Crome (1768-1821) that I could find among the 300 + oil and watercolour paintings that are attributed to him. The two outer pictures are details from two self portraits. The central picture is his small copy of a Paul van Somer portrait of Sir Francis Bacon. John Crome spent his whole life in Norwich and became as well-known as Constable for his Norfolk landscapes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Crome

A Passion for Landscape: Rediscovering John Crome

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djv1WPKAC2k

Given the absence of portraiture in Crome‚Äôs body of work, it can only be assumed that the Bacon portrait was a special commission from one of the manorial estates in Norfolk. The county is closely associated with Sir Nicholas Bacon and his descendants. Siffkey Old Hall, Gillingham Hall, Earlham Hall, Garboldisham Old Hall, and Raveningham Hall are all connected with the extended Bacon family in Norfolk. There is a van Somer portrait of Francis Bacon at Raveningham. It is unusual because of its its dark red background. Crome‚Äôs copy also has a reddish background and is almost exactly the same size (22.5‚ÄĚ x 16.5‚ÄĚ). It can therefore be argued that Crome was commissioned to make a copy of the Raveningham portrait of Bacon by Paul van Somer, sometime before 1821.¬†¬†As far as we can tell, this was something he had never done before and never did again.

 

 

Correction: Redgrave is in Suffolk not Norfolk as stated and has been removed.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2024 at 10:48 AM, Eric Roberts said:

The only available copy of this painting is so degraded that the writing is illegible. I've played with the image settings to no avail.

I've examined it in detail, it says, "Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare."

 

  • Haha 3

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 -->

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
Posted (edited)

 

 

THE FRANCIS BACON BABY PORTRAIT 

AND ITS IMPOSTERS

 

 

1. GORHAMBURY, c. 1562

 

ScreenShot2024-07-02at9_27_58pm.png.396288cf7eaee4e50193d8f4914a0527.png

 

 

2. CLARK INSTITUTE COPYScreenShot2024-07-02at10_08_34pm.png.93269c3657e2794e218a91bfd22a670c.png

Unknown, An Infant Holding an Apple, 16th century, oil on panel. Clark Art Institute, 1955.945 (16 9/16 x 12 5/16 in. (42 x 31.2 cm) oil on panel

https://www.clarkart.edu/ArtPiece/Detail/An-Infant-Holding-an-Apple-(1)

 

 

3. ROYAL COLLECTION COPY

 

ScreenShot2024-07-02at10_11_49pm.png.64bee2c87214f6d9aa9697842fab844e.png

Portrait of Sigismund Augustus (1520-1572) as a child holding an apple by Anonymous from Venice, ca. 1521, The Royal Collection. The costume is similar to the garments visible in the portraits of sons of Francis I of France from the early 1520s, however the hand gesture and facial features are similar to these visible in a print published in Kraków in 1521 and showing one year old Sigismund Augustus. Identification of the sitter by Marcin Latka (Artinpl), 14.02.2022.

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/728738783472487631/

 

4. THE "AMOROSI" VERSION

ScreenShot2024-07-02at10_13_36pm.png.322ea82954c0a90a133a847ea9300f68.png

Artist:¬†Attributed to Antonio Mercurio Amorosi¬†(Italian, 1660‚Äď1738)

         Title: Portrait d’un enfant tenant un fruit

Medium: Painting on canvas

Size: 48.2 x 37.5 cm. (19 x 14.8 in.)

https://www.artnet.com/artists/antonio-mercurio-amorosi/portrait-dun-enfant-tenant-un-fruit-s5mHYxk1_Ke_fShn_tuNOA2

NOTE: The Amorosi attribution is from an old label attached to the back of the frame,

i.e., the attribution is unauthenticated by historians.

 

5. WALTERS ART MUSEUM COPY

 

Anonymous_-_Portrait_of_Sigismund_Augustus_(1520-1572)_as_a_child_01copy.jpg.173ddfbf50115073b92e275ace4d91be.jpg

Portrait of a boy holding an apple, most probably Sigismund Augustus (1520-1572). Identification of the sitter by Marcin Latka (Artinpl), 14.02.2022. |Source: The Walters Art Museum

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anonymous_-_Portrait_of_Sigismund_Augustus_(1520-1572)_as_a_child_01.jpg

 

Logically, the Gorhambury portrait of baby Francis has never left Gorhambury and must take precedence as the original.

Note that the gold pendant on the chain around Francis's neck is rendered in more detail than in the other four pictures.

The painter of the Gorhambury portrait was able to conceal/reveal that the child was of royal descent by the use of specific iconography which Peter Dawkins, A Phoenix and others have identified as Elizabeth and Dudley, his true parents. This subtle yet key detail may well have been lost on future copyists. 

How did a copy of the Gorhambury baby portrait of Francis Bacon end up in the Royal Collection? 

This copy (No. 3) is painted with much freer brushwork and is said to be by a Venetian artist, dating from c. 1520.

How can this be, as it is a competent copy of the Gorhambury portrait. Did Elizabeth commission one of her court painters to make a copy of Sir Nicholas and Anne Bacon's portrait of her child? Could this be how it came to be in the Royal Collection?

You would think that the art historians/owners who have custody over these four copies of the Gorhambury portrait would talk to each other and realise there are false attributions and impossible to justify dates that need correcting.

 

 

Edited by Eric Roberts
  • Wow! 2
  • Confused 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Eric,

Great sleuthing and yet another mystery!! Nothing is ever straightforward with FB. I didn't realise there were this many versions and the earlier one by the Venetian artist is indeed a connundrum. I presume there is not much information from Gorhambury, no clue to the artist at all? If it has always been in their collection then surely the Venetian one that pre-dates it must be incorrectly attributed. Maybe if it was a commission from Elizabeth herself, an earlier attribution would be 'convenient' so as to 'not tread to near the heels of truth'. I wonder how the Royal Collection archivist explains the anomaly. Just looking at the ear on the baby, the boy and the Hilliard teenager and to me they all look unmistakenably from the same person, rather large and a large ear lobe.

Very interesting and mysterious as usual!

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...