Owners of paintings by Francis Bacon have now missed the deadline to be included in his first complete Catalogue Raisonné, which closed at the end of October 2015. For this ten year project, collectors were requested to contact the Catalogue Raisonné Committee via The Estate of Francis Bacon. The Bacon Catalogue Raisonné will now go to press and is expected to be revealed on the anniversary of his death in April. The final meeting of the Francis Bacon Authentication Committee took place in London on May 23rd. All information received was treated in the strictest confidence and requests for anonymity were honoured.
Over one hundred undocumented Bacon paintings will be revealed for the first time in the comprehensive catalogue. They include a previously unknown Screaming Pope painting discovered in a private Italian collection. The book will also reveal the first Screaming Pope work painted. Francis Bacon’s most famous paintings were inspired by Velasquez’s Pope Innocent X portrait. Scholars have interpreted the paintings and the inspirations behind them ever since Bacon painted them in the 1950s. Bacon worked on his pope paintings, variations on Velázquez’s magnificent portrait of Pope Innocent X, for over twenty years.
All 584 surviving paintings are represented in the book. A few known works still remain outstanding and it is known that many were destroyed by Bacon himself. The following works have not been located, and information as to their whereabouts is still sought: Lying Figure (1953); Man with Head Wound (1955); Mlle Suzy Solidor (1957); Head of Woman (1961).
“The stuff that has been written about Bacon, some good and much of it less good, is based on about a third of his work.” The art historian Martin Harrison, told the Guardian, that he has spent the last decade attempting to track down every last work. “Irrespective of the care taken in documenting his extant oeuvre, the great revelation of the new catalogue raisonné will be that, for the first time, Bacon’s entire output can be seen and assessed. It will, we believe, have a profound effect on the perception of his paintings.”