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Francis Bacon: A Retrospective
by Francis Bacon; edited by Dennis Farr, Michael Peppiatt, and Sally Yard
Harry N. Abrams, 1999

The interview-shy Francis Bacon, who during his lifetime repudiated attempts to analyze or categorize his work, is as enigmatic as his paintings. Now the first major retrospective of Bacon's paintings since his death in 1992 is on view at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. And the accompanying catalog, filled with rich color plates, includes lucid analysis that dispels some of the mysteries behind the works.

Francis Bacon : Anatomy of an Enigma
Michael Peppiatt
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1997

Writing a biography can be a bit like archeology, and Michael Peppiatt comes closer to actual excavation than most biographers. Much of his material about the painter comes directly from the floor of Bacon's studio in Paris, where years' worth of photographs, newspaper articles,letters, and other personal detritus were trodden underfoot and only recently retrieved. From these and other sources, interviews, and the author's own 30-year acquaintance with Bacon, Peppiatt has crafted a fine and balanced biography of a most enigmatic man.

Bacon : Portraits and Self-Portraits
by Francis Bacon, France Borel (Illustrator), Milan Kundera (Introduction)
Thames & Hudson, 1997.

Francis Bacon's stylistic distortions of classicism, brutal portrayals of friends, and tormented self-images changed the traditional genre of portraiture. This is the first book dedicated to this particular aspect of the late artist's work. With its superb reproductions of more than 130 pieces, the book offers new insight into these disturbing images, and also details some of Bacon's techniques (with 223 color illustrations).

Francis Bacon (World of Art)
by John Russell
Revised and updated edition
Thames & Hudson, 1993

From the World of Art series of small paperbacks, this book provides a good introduction to Bacon and his work. Limited graphics, but the text was written by respected New York Times art critic John Russell.

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