Francis Bacon (artist) - Later Life and Death

Later Life and Death

In 1974, Bacon met John Edwards, another young man from the East End, with whom he formed one of his most enduring friendships. While holidaying in Madrid in 1992, Bacon was admitted to the Handmaids of Maria, a private clinic, where he was cared for by Sister Mercedes. His chronic asthma, which had plagued him all his life, had developed into a respiratory condition and he could not talk or breathe very well. He died of cardiac arrest on 28 April 1992, attempts to resuscitate him having failed. He bequeathed his entire estate (then valued at £11 million) to John Edwards. Edwards, in turn, donated the contents of Francis Bacon's chaotic studio at 7 Reece Mews, South Kensington, to the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. Bacon's studio contents were moved and the studio carefully reconstructed in the gallery. Additionally draft materials, perhaps intended for destruction, were bequeathed to Barry Joule who later forwarded most of the materials to create the Barry Joule Archive in Dublin with other parts of the collection given later to the Tate museum.

The tiny and cramped nature of Bacon's London studio and apartment were subjected to some critical analysis in an article in The Guardian by Aida Edemariam. She claims Bacon being frequently locked screaming for hours in a cupboard as a young boy, by a nanny, formed the basis of his preference for working in cramped conditions and his unwillingness to work in a larger space. The article states: "That cupboard", Bacon apparently said years later, "was the making of me".

Read more about this topic:  Francis Bacon (artist)

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