"English painter of Irish birth. Francis Bacon
came to London in 1925 and although he received no formal art
training, he created a sensation in 1945 when he exhibited his
Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (London,
Tate Gallery) at the Lefevre Gallery in London. His work was
Expressionist in style, and his distorted human forms were unsettling.
He developed his personal style and gloomy subject matter during
the 1950s, when he achieved an international reputation. Aside
from his unpleasant images of corrupt and disgusting humanity,
Bacon deliberately subverted artistic conventions by using the
triptych format of Renaissance altarpieces to show the evils
of man, rather than the virtues of Christ. In Pope Innocent
X he reworked a famous portrait by Velazquez into a screaming
mask of angst."