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Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion

1944: Tate Gallery, London

"I've never known why my paintings are known as horrible. I'm always labelled with horror, but I never think about horror. Pleasure is such a diverse thing. And horror is too. Can you call the famous Isenheim altar a horror piece? Its one of the greatest paintings of the Crucifixion, with the body studded with thorns like nails, but oddly enough the form is so grand it takes away from the horror. But that is the horror in the sense that it is so vitalising; isn't that how people came out of the great tragedies? People came out as though purged into happiness, into a fuller reality of existence".

Francis Bacon
Interviews with Francis Bacon; David Sylvester, edt. 1993

 
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