Fran­cis Ba­con: A jour­ney into his world

CONCIERGE – The F1 Inside Track - - BEYOND THE TRACK | ART -

The beau­ti­ful French Riv­iera may not im­me­di­ately spring to mind as in­spi­ra­tion for rev­o­lu­tion­ary mod­ern art. And yet in the 1940s it is where the painter Fran­cis Ba­con spent four years de­vel­op­ing his most fa­mous pic­to­rial theme, the Scream­ing Popes.

Born in Dublin (he spent most of his life in Bri­tain), Ba­con first vis­ited Monaco in 1940, mov­ing there in 1946 un­til the early 1950s. He con­tin­ued to visit the Prin­ci­pal­ity reg­u­larly through­out his life, of­ten lured by the gam­ing ta­bles – as well as the artis­tic op­por­tu­ni­ties. “I be­came very ob­sessed by the casino, and I spent whole days there,” the artist re­called in a filmed in­ter­view. “I used to think that I heard the croupiers call­ing out the num­ber at roulette, the win­ning num­ber, be­fore the ball had fallen into the socket.”

Now the Fran­cis Ba­con MB Art Foun­da­tion in Monaco promotes a deeper un­der­stand­ing of the artist’s work, life and method­olo­gies. Fea­tur­ing more than 100 pieces – in­clud­ing paint­ings, graphic works, pho­to­graphs, ob­jects from his work­shops and let­ters – it is the work of pas­sion­ate art lover Ma­jid Bous­tany. And Ba­con’s work is worth get­ting to know. He at­tracts some of the big­gest prices for any 20th­cen­tury artist at auc­tion, and a trip­tych of his friend and fel­low artist Lu­cian Freud was sold for a world record $142m in 2013. The foun­da­tion is a unique and un­miss­able ex­pe­ri­ence.

Free guided tours are held ev­ery Tues­day and the first Satur­day of the month by reser­va­tion only. www.mbart­foun­da­

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