Gagosian (Davie’s St) – Francis Bacon: The First Pope

15 March - 23 April, 2022
Francis Bacon, ‘Landscape with Pope/Dictator’, c. 1946, Oil on canvas, 55 ⅛ × 43 ¼ inches (140 × 110 cm) © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2022, Image Courtesy of Gagosian, London

Gagosian is pleased to announce the exhibition of Francis Bacon’s first treatment of the papal image—a subject that would preoccupy the artist on and off for at least two decades. Executed circa 1946, this highly important picture in Bacon’s oeuvre has never before been exhibited publicly. The canvas entered a private collection in 1967 and was only rediscovered during the compilation of the artist’s catalogue raisonné by Martin Harrison, which was published in 2016. The painting will be on view in Gagosian’s Davies Street gallery from March 15 to April 23, 2022.

Scholar, art historian, and Gagosian director Richard Calvocoressi commented, “It is particularly exciting that this important early Bacon has reemerged now, while three of the artist’s reinterpretations of the Pope theme—from 1949, 1951, and 1965—are on display in London, in the Royal Academy’s current exhibition, Francis Bacon: Man and Beast.”

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