Figure with Meat
"Figure with Meat" is a 1954 painting by the Irish born artist Francis Bacon. The figure mimics that of
Pope Innocent Xas recreated in the portrait by Diego Velázquez, placed between two bisected halves of a cow. The carcass hanging in the background is derived from Rembrandt's "Carcass of Beef", 1657 [ [http://www.rembrandtpainting.net/complete_catalogue/landscape/ox.htm TITLE ] ] The painting is in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
According to Mary Louise Schumacher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
"Bacon appropriated the famous portrait, with its subject, enthroned and draped in satins and lace, his stare stern and full of authority. In Bacon's version, animal carcasses hang at the pope's back, creating a raw and disturbing Crucifixion-like composition. The pope's hands, elegant and poised in Velázquez's version, are rough hewn and gripping the church's seat of authority in apparent terror. His mouth is held in a scream and black striations drip down from the pope's nose to his neck. It's as if Bacon picked up a wide house painting brush and brutishly dragged it over the face. The fresh meat recalls the lavish arrangements of fruits, meats and confections in 17th-century vanitas paintings, which usually carried subtle moralizing messages about the impermanence of life and the spiritual dangers of sensual pleasures. Sometimes, the food itself showed signs of being overripe or spoiled, to make the point. Bacon weds the imagery of salvation, worldly decadence, power and carnal sensuality, and he contrasts those things with his own far more palpable and existential view of damnation. [http://www.chronologicalsnobbery.com/2007/11/batman-joker-and-francis-bacons-figure.html Batman, the Joker, and Francis Bacon's Figure with Meat] . "Chronological Snobbery", Retrieved on
May 01, 2008.]
In the 1989 film "Batman", "Figure with Meat" is the one painting "not" mutilated by the Joker's henchmen. The Joker blocks one of this goons from striking it with a knife, remarking, "I kinda like this one, Bob. Leave it."
Study after Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X
* [http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/4884 "Figure with Meat" at The Art Institute of Chicago]
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