Foundation News
New documentary on Bacon & Ireland<br /><em>Francis Bacon: The Outsider</em>
Francis Bacon, c. 1933
Photo: Francis Julian Gutmann (MB Art Collection)

New documentary on Bacon & Ireland
Francis Bacon: The Outsider


The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation took part in a film produced by Mount Venus Productions, broadcast in December on the Irish channel RTE 1, about Francis Bacon’s close links with Ireland and its influence on his early career as an artist.

The Foundation participated in the film Francis Bacon: The Outsider, by welcoming the film team within its premises. The goal of their visit to Monaco was to discover the first oil on canvas by Francis Bacon, ‘Painting’, 1930, currently on display at the Foundation in Monaco and part of the MB Art Collection. One of the highlights of the documentary is the reveal of the place in Ireland where Bacon started to paint that first oil.

Presented and narrated by U2’s Adam Clayton, a huge admirer of Francis Bacon, this insightful documentary traces the artist’s time in Ireland and examines the complex relationship Francis Bacon had with the country of his birth. Surprisingly few people are aware that Bacon was born in Baggot Street, Dublin and spent much of his early life in Ireland. Bacon was thought to have left Ireland in his teens, never to return but recently discovered diaries from 1929 written by Bacon’s lover and patron, Eric Allden, show otherwise.

Thanks to these diaries, a different side to Bacon is revealed with some remarkable discoveries made about the artist’s early life and work. The documentary charts a course from Dublin to Kildare, London, Monaco and Renvyle in Galway, bringing the diaries to life. Clayton goes on a road trip to retrace Bacon’s steps and explore what the artist saw, the people he met and the impact this had on

On this journey, Clayton talks to Dr. Margarita Cappock, an expert on Bacon who was project manager of Bacon’s reconstructed studio at the Hugh Lane Gallery and has spent twenty years researching and writing about the artist. Cappock was the first to realise the significance of the Irish chapters in Eric Allden’s diaries and highlights what this means in context of Bacon’s life and art. The documentary also includes contributions by Annalyn Swan and Mark Stevens, authors of Francis Bacon: Revelations, the latest biography on Bacon, and Martin Harrison, author of the definitive catalogue raisonné of Bacon’s paintings. John Minihan, Irish photographer and a friend of Bacon’s, provides a vivid personal insight to the man he knew, as he photographed him and socialised with him in London and Paris.

Directed and produced by Karen McGrath, Mount Venus Productions, with haunting images of the West of Ireland, shot by Director of Photography, John Fay and original music written and produced by Gavin Friday with Michael Hennessy.

Watch a clip

Adam Clayton, U2, with Dr. Margarita Cappock at the Foundation in Monaco in front of Francis
Bacon’s ‘Painting’, 1930. Courtesy Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation.
Artwork © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved