Francis Bacon’s father bred horses, and he himself was fascinated by the movement of animals, studying wildlife books and Eadweard Muybridge’s 19th-century photographs of mammals in motion. Bacon felt that animal behavior—uninhibited, honest—was a clue to the hidden truths in human nature, and he drew energy from the beast’s raw expression. This survey spans 50 years of the Irish-born artist’s career, and includes a trio of bullfight paintings that have never before been exhibited together. —E.C.
Royal Academy of Arts Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD, UK Get Directions »