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Francis Bacon (b Dublin, 28 Oct. 1909; d Madrid, 28 Apr. 1992). British painter, born in Ireland of English parents. He left home in 1925 at the age of 16 and moved to London, where he worked for a time as an interior decorator. In the late 1920s he lived in Berlin and then Paris (where he was powerfully affected by an exhibition of Picasso's work), then returned to London in 1929. He had no formal training as a painter. In the 1930s he began exhibiting in London commercial galleries, but he destroyed much of his early work and dropped out of sight until 1945, when his Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (Tate, London), painted in the previous year, was exhibited at the Lefevre Gallery, London, and made him overnight the most controversial painter in the country.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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