The most influential and original figurative painter of the second half of 20th century, Francis Bacon's distorted abstract forms capture the traumatized post-war era. Mainly concentrating on portraiture, Bacon, a renowned late-night reveler, depicted the members of the bars and clubs of London's Soho neighborhood. These larger than life characters were portrayed as isolated and tormented, imprisoned in the cages of their own existential… Read more
About the artwork
The etching Taken from a photograph of Trotsky's, 1987 is a typically unsettling work from Bacon who depicts the desk belonging to the assassinated Russian political figure, Trotsky. Murdered with an icepick in Mexico by a Spanish-born Soviet agent acting on Stalin's orders, Trotsky's body is draped in a bloodstained shroud. Although alluding to the violence of the act—eyewitnesses attested to Trotsky grappling with the assassin and even spitting in his face—the portrayal of the desk also alludes to the legacy of work that a great man leaves behind. When Bacon made this signed limited edition he was just five years before his own death, and clearly in contemplative mood.