A Picture Tells A Million Stories in Francis Bacon Paintings Essay

Decent Essays
Symbolism is the practice of attributing significance to objects, events, or relationships. Symbols can tell a story that is deeper and more personal. People can use symbols in many different ways; through stories, poetry, and painting, but are not limited to those subjects. Francis Bacon used many symbols in his paintings. By doing this he did not give the viewer just something to look at but, something to decipher. This way Bacon could tell the story of his life, show his emotions, and make a deeper meaning out of something he enjoyed. Francis Bacon, through his life and painting style, creates a memoir in his 1973 Self-Portrait.
Even though Bacon’s life was problematic, success came from his paintings. He was born in Dublin,
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Bacon’s life was engaged with the cruelties and suffering of this world, his life was prosperous from his paintings("Francis Bacon.").
The expressionism is used in Francis Bacon’s paintings. Expressionism is a technique of art that distorts and exaggerates for emotional effect. “His images of distorted, mutilated, melting, bleeding, screaming, caged, and confined flesh are potent incarnations of the human condition in the 20th century” (Gay & Lesbian Biography). The mutilated human flesh had great influence on the emotions of the people who sees his paintings. The critic Yvor Winters called Francis Bacon a moral artist, he explains, “[A] moral artist does not shy from exploring the extremes of human experience, but he portrays evil as evil and makes us know it is evil” (Yezzi). This painting that Yezzi saw made him feel the mood as evil. The paintings evil elements are over emphasized so that emotions of the viewer would be moved. In Francis Bacon’s paintings, the technique of expressionism is used.
Bacon’s Self-Portrait of 1973 serves as a memoir for his life. In this painting Francis Bacon had painted himself with a distorted face. When Bacon was younger “In [that] world, homosexuality was a defect and a ‘limp’” (Langer). All of his life he grew up thinking that he had a defect. By physically distorting his face perhaps, is a symbol of him feeling this way. Also, while Bacon was younger, he was casted out of his house by his father. “16-year-old Bacon
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