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RRSD1044

Three Studies of a Crucifixion, 1962 Tryptique

(One of Three) Oil on canvas, each originally measuring 6' 6" x 4' 9." The work is held at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Bacon often intends his triptych works to be read as three separate scenes, not linked by temporal or spatial continuity.

Here, the left panel appears to show two figures in a butcher's shop with joints of meat on the counter.

Bacon later commented, "one has got to remember as a painter that there is this great beauty of the color of meat … we are meat, we are potential carcasses". He might have been influenced by Rembrandt's "Side of Beef."

The center panel is occupied by a bloodied human body writhing on a bed, with a white dot on the foot possibly a nail scar. The crucifixion is moved from its traditional place in the center panel to the third panel, where a figure re-imagined as a gutted carcass that is sliding down a cross in the right panel.

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