Francis Bacon later commented about this work: "one has got to remember as a painter that there is this great beauty of the color of meat...we are meat, we are potential carcasses".
FRANCIS BACON (1909-1992) HAND-SIGNED OFFSET LITHOGRAPH, THREE STUDIES FOR A CRUCIFIXION, "Francis Bacon", signed in the lower border in black felt tip, and attractively museum-quality matted and framed to an overall size of 10.5 x 8.75, an extremely rare hand-signed offset lithograph of his 1962 triptych oil painting. He produced a number of works inspired by the crucifixion and returned to the triptych format with this painting which today is seen as a marking point between his early and mature periods. In Bacon's art, the crucifixion does not just refer to the death of Christ, but also to any image of corporeal suffering, pain, and mortification. The work was created over a period of two weeks, while drunk or hungover, in preparation for his first retrospective at the Tate gallery in London in 1962. He commented at the time that he thought the drink helped him be a bit freer. The painting deliberately associated animal slaughter with the crucifixion. The left panel appears to show two figures in a butcher's shop with joints of meat on the counter. The center panel is occupied by a bloody human body writhing on a bed, with a white dot on the foot possibly a nail scar. The crucifixion is moved from the traditional place in the center panel to the third panel, where a figure reimagined as a gutted carcass that is sliding down a cross; its contorted form is influenced by Rembrandt's Side of Beef. An interesting aside: in November 2013 a 1969 Francis Bacon triptych sold at Christie's for $142.4 million dollars and is the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction. You now have the opportunity to own a hand-signed offset lithograph by this same artist that is in fine condition and ready for immediate display.