‘Study of a Nude’, a painting of an anonymous nude figure standing within a transparent cubic structure, was produced in 1953 by Francis Bacon and was subsequently transformed into a series of giclée prints mounted on aluminum in 2015.
This work, like many others Bacon created in the 1950s, was principally inspired by the 19th century photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge, who produced a series of images of animals and humans to demonstrate the kinetic potentials of photography. Similarities emerge in the painting’s reduced color palette, limited to shades of grey, and the dynamic appearance of the naked body, seemingly revolving around its center.
The sense of bodily discomfort and isolation is highlighted by Bacon’s trademark ‘space frames’, abstract lines surrounding the painting’s subject like cages or transparent architectural structures. These elements contribute to emphasize the sense of the utter loneliness and spiritual desolation. The animated body of this artwork reflects Bacon’s fascination with classical and Christian imagery, exemplified in this instance by the figure’s pose which resembles the religious imagery of the suffering Christ.
The vulnerable position of the artwork’s subject, caged and exposed, almost dehumanized by his lack of identity, suggests of the countless psychological traumas of modern life.
AFTER FRANCIS BACON (BRITISH, 1909-1992)
Q4 Study of a Nude, 1953/2015
Diasec-mounted giclée print in colours, on Alu Dibond support, with printed signature and numbered '461/500' in black ink on the publisher's label affixed verso.
Co-published by The Estate of Francis Bacon and Heni Productions, 2015,
610 x 510mm (24 x 20 1/8in) (SH)