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Man with Dog

Francis Bacon (British, born Ireland, 1909–1992). Man with Dog, 1953. Oil on canvas, 60 x 46 inches (152 x 117 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1955 (K1955:3). © Estate of Francis Bacon / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London.

© Estate of Francis Bacon / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Francis Bacon / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Francis Bacon / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Francis Bacon

British, born Ireland, 1909-1992

Man with Dog, 1953

oil on canvas

support: 60 x 46 inches (152 x 117 cm); framed: 62 1/4 x 48 3/8 x 2 3/4 inches (158.12 x 122.87 x 6.99 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1955

K1955:3

More Details

Inscriptions

inscription / on stretcher / "The Elephant"
inscription / front / Hanover Gallery

Provenance

Hanover Gallery, London;
Martha Jackson Gallery, New York;
purchased from them by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery with funds provided by Seymour H. Knox, Jr., Buffalo, January 28, 1955

Class

Paintings

Work Type

Oil painting

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Francis Bacon developed a fascination with animals, which, unlike human beings, respond to life in ways that are spontaneous, instinctual, and uninhibited. Consequently, he aimed to expose the raw emotions submerged beneath social civility through his work. The composition of Man with Dog was inspired by an image from Eadweard Muybridge’s (British, 1830–1904) 1887 time-lapse photographic series Animal Locomotion: an Electro-Photographic Investigation of Connective Phases of Animal Movements. The canine he depicts in this painting seems to be either cowering or paused for attack. Bacon wanted his compositions to remain intentionally mysterious and open to interpretation. This same dog appears in other works by Bacon, but the settings vary dramatically—from a seafront in Monte Carlo to a background partly inspired by a stadium in Germany that the Nazis adapted for the Nuremberg Rally. This painting’s motif may also reference a work that is in the Albright-Knox’s collection: Dinamismo di un cane al guinzaglio (Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash), 1912, by Giacomo Balla. Bacon may have seen Balla’s painting while it was on loan to the Tate Gallery in London during the summer of 1952, and its composition may have prompted him to depict the animal on a leash with a human companion. However, beyond these two inspirational sources, Bacon transformed the subject into a scene wrought with tension and fear.

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