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Francis Bacon: Man and Beast

National Gallery / London / Art

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.

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National Gallery Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5DN, UK
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