Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné Announced

The Estate of Francis Bacon has announced the publication of Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, presenting the entire oeuvre of the artist’s work for the first time. Due for global publication on 28th April 2016—the anniversary of Francis Bacon’s death—the impeccably produced limited edition will contain over 900 illustrations in five, cloth-bound hardcover volumes.

Edited by Martin Harrison, FSA, the pre-eminent expert on Bacon’s work, alongside research assistant, Dr Rebecca Daniels, this ambitious and painstaking project has been ten years in the making. Much needed, it replaces Rothenstein/Alley’s Francis Bacon 1964 catalogue, the only previous catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work, which comprised just 37% of Bacon’s ultimate oeuvre and 27 paintings illustrated in colour.

Bacon is known to have destroyed many of his paintings and only about half of the 584 that survive can be said to be accessible or in circulation; it is testimony to Harrison’s exacting and expert work that the new catalogue raisonné will include over 100 previously unpublished paintings.

Martin Harrison says: “Irrespective of the care taken in documenting his extant oeuvre, the great revelation of the new catalogue raisonné will be that, for the first time, Bacon’s entire output can be seen and assessed. It will, we believe, have a profound effect on the perception of his paintings.”

The three 400-page volumes that make up the study of Bacon’s entire oeuvre are bookended by two further 192-page volumes; the former encompassing an introduction, a chronology, an index and a user’s guide, and the latter a catalogue of Bacon’s sketches, an illustrated bibliography compiled by Krzysztof Cieszkowski, and acknowledgements. Printed on 170 gsm GardaMatt stock in Bergamo, Italy, the five volumes of Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné are boxed within a cloth slipcase and priced at £1,000 | $1,500 | €1,400.

Francis Bacon
“Francis Bacon (1909 - 92) is widely regarded as Britain’s greatest modern painter. Drawing on low-art sources, including photographs torn from magazines and imagery from films, coupled with a keen awareness of the rich historical tradition of painting stretching back to the Renaissance, Bacon developed a way of portraying the human body which was unique. His mastery of the medium of paint was recognised early. By 1946, the critic Kenneth Clark felt able to state simply: ‘Francis Bacon has genius’.”
Francis Bacon (Tate Publishing, 2008)
francis-bacon.com

Martin Harrison FSA
Martin Harrison has published on 19th and 20th century art and photography and curated exhibitions in the UK (Victoria & Albert Museum; National Portrait Gallery; Ashmolean Museum), Italy, the USA and Mexico. He co-curated the Bacon exhibition at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf in 2006, and Francis Bacon / Henry Moore: Flesh and Bone, The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2013. His first publication on Francis Bacon was Points of Reference (Faggionato Fine Art, 1999). He is the author of In Camera: Francis Bacon - Photography, film and the practice of painting (Thames & Hudson, 2005) and with Rebecca Daniels, Francis Bacon: Incunabula (Thames & Hudson, 2008). In 2009 he edited Francis Bacon - New Studies: Centenary Essays, a collection of nine original essays to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the artist.

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