With unrivalled access to the archives and the full co-operation of the Bacon estate, critics Annalyn Swan and Mark Stevens have produced the definitive biography of the seminal artist.
He was an artist who believed in chance and paradox: the iconoclast eventually became an icon.
Like his literary contemporaries Sartre, Beckett and Camus, Francis Bacon captured the alienation, helplessness and existential despair of the post-war European nightmare; and like them became a celebrity with pop gravitas, surrounded by devotees who treated him as a modern saint.
Bacon resisted serious efforts to write about his life; partly because he wanted to control his image, but also because he kept a secret: one that had nothing to do with sex, fame, glamour, violence, money or art.
It was Bacon’s secret that he was not just a radical master of the twentieth- century stage who exulted in the dark arts. He was simultaneously an Englishman suffused with longing for the ordinary patterns of joy and solace denied him as a child and young man.
Authors of the first major Bacon biography in twenty-five years drawn from extensive new material from Ireland, Tangier, Spain, England and France, Pulitzer Prize winners Annalyn Swan and Mark Stevens join us to present a startlingly original portrait – rich, complex, and subtle – of a commanding modern figure.