Francis Bacon


Francis Bacon (1909-1992) is one of the most distinctive, provocative, and influential painters of the 20th century. 

His singular aesthetic was a violent intersection between abstraction and expressionistic portraiture. While the subjects in his paintings were often identified, distinctive facial features were typically smeared and distorted, often reflecting their inner turmoil or the artist's conflicting emotions related to the sitter. 

"Portrait of Michel Leiris" depicts the artist's close friend, who was a prominent French surrealist writer and anthropologist. The work is based on Bacon's oil painting of the same name from 1976; which is currently held by the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris.

This work is a paradigm of Bacon's style. Psychologically charged, Bacon's portraits often took inspiration from personal experiences, frequently depicting friends, lovers, and those closest to the artist. Portraiture was revived in Britain in the 1960's and Francis Bacon was at the forefront of this wave of innovation and representation. 

In this work, the sitter is rendered through frenetic swirls and sweeping strokes of color that effectively distort the subject's facial features. The dynamic composition is anchored by the man's right eye, which is left intact, offering a focal point amidst the tumultuous surroundings. Francis Bacon is arguably the immediate successor to  Edvard Munch's iconic "The Scream" from 1893.

Today, Bacon's canvases fetch astounding prices at auction, achieving a record of $142.4 M in 2014.

Caviar20 recommends the film Love is the Devil; a dark biography of Bacon's life starring a young Daniel Craig and Tilda Swinton.

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

Visit our Toronto gallery on Thursdays or by appointment.

"Portrait of Michel Leiris" 

Paris, 1976

Colour etching and aquatint on Arches wove paper

Signed and numbered by artist

From an edition of 100

14"H 12"W (work)

28.75"H 23.5"W (framed)

Minor wear to frame

Very good condition.

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Our inventory is divided between New York and Toronto. 

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We can ship anywhere. Typically when we ship within North America we prefer to use FedEx or DHL. To Europe, Asia and beyond we generally use DHL. 

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For shipments within North America, we typically charge a flat rate fee. Many items on our site will list the rate. For shipping outside of North America, we can easily provide a quote and will look for the most efficient and economical option.

Most of the items on our site can be easily shipped internationally.

Occasionally we will recommend that an artwork be removed from its frame for shipping. Larger framed works are typically framed with plexiglass. We export over 80% of what we sell, so we are comfortable shipping anywhere. 

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When a work is valued above $2,500 usd there is a possibility of tax of 0.35%, but this is applied sporadically. There can similarly be an additional fee for customs brokerage and this can range from $20 - $65. US Taxes, duties and customs brokerage are not included in our flat rate shipping. However most of our shipments to the US enter without any additional fees. 

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Yes, we guarantee everything we sell. We can provide both a digital and printed version of our certificate of authenticity. 

What is your return policy?
- Caviar20 wants you to be 100% satisfied with your purchase. We have a 7 day no-questions full refund return policy for your purchase. Shipping charges are non-refundable. Return shipping is the responsibility of the customer. After 8 days returns are given a credit note. There is no expiration for our credit notes.

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