Francis Bacon Photographed by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Taken in his famous 7 Reece Mews studio, at a moment of rest between his famously intense bouts of work, Francis Bacon leans towards the photographer who sits on the other side of the table. Touching his hand to his temple, he stares directly into the lens, seemingly engaged in conversation. Bacon would echo Cartier-Bresson’s doctrine of the ‘decisive moment’ in his remark, “I’ve got an obsession with doing the one perfect image.” When archivists went to catalogue the contents of Bacon’s studio after his death in 1992, thousands of photographs were found, crumpled and stained with paint. Bacon often worked from photographs, incorporating elements of figure studies and portraits into his paintings. Many of Cartier-Bresson’s portraits of the artist were found amongst this collection.

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