Francis Bacon: Painting in a Godless World

Author(s): Rina Arya


Throughout his career, Francis Bacon (1909-1992) made many anti-religious and, more specifically, anti-Christian statements. Bacon was a militant atheist but his atheism was not a simple dismissal of religion and religious belief. He exploited the symbols of Christianity, especially the Crucifixion and the Pope, in order to show its untenability in the modern age. Setting out to account for Bacon's recurrent and sustained use of religious symbols, Rina Arya explains how the artist redeployed religious iconography to convey an experience of the human condition, specifically animalism and mortality. By placing the work within the context of post-war philosophical pre-occupations with the death of God, the author provides a robust framework in which to view and interpret Bacon's complex images. Refreshingly original, this book marks a new approach to appreciating the work of one of the leading artists of the twentieth century.


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Rina Arya is Reader in Visual Communication at the University of Wolverhampton. She has published a range of articles on Bacon which include discussions on his representations of the Crucifixion and the Pope, constructions of homosexuality in his work and the cultural aspects of Bacon's art. She is also editor of Francis Bacon: Critical and Theoretical Perspectives (due to be published in 2012).

Contents: Acknowledgements; Introduction; Setting the Scene; Bacon's Godless World; The Crucifixion; The Pope; The Triptych; The Body; The Sacred and the Profane; The Religious Dimensions of Francis Bacon; Notes; List of Figures; Bibliography; Index

General Fields

  • : 9781848220447
  • : Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd
  • : Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd
  • : January 2011
  • : 260mm X 220mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : June 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Rina Arya
  • : Hardback
  • : 759.2
  • : 176
  • : Includes 52 colour and 22 b&w illustrations