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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The great Francis Bacon
A fascinating study of the great man and his work. Peppiatt knew Bacon from the 60's onwards, thus the biography feels intimate and true to life and is successful in depicting the flamboyance, complexity and sheer charisma of this important British artist.

Bacon's father is depicted as a key figure, as well as a leitmotif of brutal masculinity in Bacon's...
Published on 16 July 2006 by reader-in-the-Fens

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A different view of Bacon..
This is a great biography on Bacon, have no doubt. Packed with research and memories from someone who actually knew him. Starting with the author retracing his steps to Bacon's former studio in Reece Mews, to a conversation with the nurse who witnessed Bacon's final moments. The story is here to read in full, including some excellent notes. Whereas this book is heavy on...
Published on 5 Jan 2012 by Tony Scrivener


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The great Francis Bacon, 16 July 2006
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A fascinating study of the great man and his work. Peppiatt knew Bacon from the 60's onwards, thus the biography feels intimate and true to life and is successful in depicting the flamboyance, complexity and sheer charisma of this important British artist.

Bacon's father is depicted as a key figure, as well as a leitmotif of brutal masculinity in Bacon's paintings. A tyrannical, martial man, (according to Peppiatt, he has his teenage son horsewhipped by his grooms in order to `make him more of a man') he is the very antithesis of the highly intelligent, young, unconventional Bacon. This early encounter with such brutality goes some way to explaining the power and masculine energy so apparent in Bacon's paintings, as well as the sado-masochistic and destructive nature of his sexual relationships.

Peppiatt describes Bacon's influences - Picasso's biomorhic figures as well as his 'Crucifixion', the photographic images of Edweard Muybridge, Velasquez's 'Pope Innocent X', which inspired the 'Screaming Pope' series.

Bacon's days spent as `bon viveur', drinking vast quantities of alcohol at the Colony in Soho, with the cliquey, languorous dry wit of camp proprietress, Muriel Belcher is captured wonderfully ("Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends!", as Bacon once declared), as well as his slightly alarming brush with the Kray twins (who fascinated him), and his doomed relationship with his tragic muse, George Dyer.

All in all this is an immensely enjoyable read as well as providing a real insight into the artist and his work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enigma Unraveled, 22 Jun 2010
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The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma (Paperback)
This "revised and updated" edition of Michael Peppiatt's
1996 biography of the painter Francis Bacon is a marvelous
read. Mr Bacon was well-known for the transitory, volatile
and extremely unpredictable nature of his attachments but
Mr Peppiatt has come closer than most in giving us an insight
into the life, mind and work of one of the greatest artists
of the last century. (Daniel Farson's 1993 portrait 'The Gilded
Gutter Life Of Francis Bacon' is an equally important study).

Mr Peppiatt dares to go where many have tried and failed in
making connections between Mr Bacon's knowingly slippery and
highly changeable accounts of his own history and his astonishing
creative legacy. Sifting through the fragments of his life
(a procedure not unlike the quasi-archaeological reconstruction
of Mr Bacon's Reece Mews studio in the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin)
the author offers up invaluable material which casts new light on
the elusive workings of the artist's highly complex emotional and
aesthetic sensibilities. Although he was infamously stubborn in
allowing a narrative reading of his paintings, wanting instead to :
"open up the valves of feeling" (such a wonderful notion!!) his many
conversations with Mr Peppiatt from 1963 until his death in 1992 allow
for a fuller and in some ways more humane understanding of his work.

The paintings will stand the test of time. Although he had his
detractors (not that their views troubled him particularly - his
magnificently arch beligerance was both his sword and his shield!)
Mr Bacon emerges from these pages with his resplendent vitality
and appetite for the glorious futility of existence fully intact!

Mr Peppiatt's book puts new flesh on the bones of an extraordinary
life. It is a scholarly, utterly biased and deeply affectionate tribute
to his friend and to the memory of an artist of immeasurable importance.

Essential.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enigmatic painter, 11 Feb 2009
By 
Mr. M. Ireland (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma (Paperback)
Francis Bacon never ceases to amaze me in this in-depth account of Bacon's frantic and chaotic life as one of Britain's best known painters and explains how & why he behaved in the eccentric way that he did. It's very revealing, right down to Bacons weakness for wearing women's stockings to his slightly sinister way he treated his partners and people around him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authoratitive and very enjoyable, 8 Jan 2009
This review is from: Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma (Paperback)
As other reviewers have noted, this book is based on personal knowledge of Bacon and the analysis of Bacon's work is written with the insight of an artist. Much better than the Farson oeuvre. Highly recommended
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars highly entertaining and informative, 17 May 2000
Peppiatt's indepth knowledge and presentation made this book an absolute joy to read. Going farther and deeper than Farson with complete excavation of and endearment for Bacon.A great character, the book a sheer delight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 29 May 2011
This review is from: Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma (Paperback)
I find the work of Bacon fascinating and was eager to learn more about his life - this is the first book I selected - based on the good reviews on here and I was most satisfied. Peppiatt presents Bacon's life story with passion and insight - a truly enigmatic and visionary artist with a tragic and fascinating life.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A different view of Bacon.., 5 Jan 2012
This review is from: Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma (Paperback)
This is a great biography on Bacon, have no doubt. Packed with research and memories from someone who actually knew him. Starting with the author retracing his steps to Bacon's former studio in Reece Mews, to a conversation with the nurse who witnessed Bacon's final moments. The story is here to read in full, including some excellent notes. Whereas this book is heavy on facts, I recommend Daniel Farson's book on Bacon for a more intimate memoir. The book is strong on content but somehow I personally feel it could have been pushed further. So with this in mind I would rate this a strong three out of five stars. If you love Bacon, still buy this book!
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Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma
Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma by Michael Peppiatt (Paperback - 11 Sep 2008)
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