Portrait of Isabel Rawsthorne



Bacon, Francis b.1909, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, d.1992, Madrid, Spain




heavy wove 38 x 28 cm sheet, with margins


very good

Realisation / Publication:

realised by Maeght for the DLM, 162, 1966 in an edition that was dedicated to Francis Bacon

Reference / Literature:

see and for information regarding the painting that inspired the lithograph see


Private collector, London


Contact for price

Francis Bacon is a towering figure in 20th century art history. Credited with reinvigorating the figure as subject after half a century of abstraction (along with Lucien Freud), Bacon’s work is also a deeply psychological study of the human condition. His work is redolent with anxiety and uncertainty. Bacon’s figures often languish, tormented, in sparse, empty and cavernous spaces of a single hue. They appear to be caught in the act, often physically distressed, made manifest in a surreal manner the artist depicts his subjects. This exceptional portrait of Bacon’s good friend, and fellow raconteur, Isabel Rawsthorne is being offered as one of the suite of lithographs that was created by the artist and published especially for Dierre le Mirior in1966. The contorted, monstrous and exaggerated joy, (or is it pain?) on display here, highlights Bacon’s interest in the ambiguity that defines post WWII humanity. Unsure of Bacon’s mood at the time of making these works, no one in his vision seems to be enjoying themselves. This is evident in the face of Rawsthorne, drawing attention to the artist’s belief that the surface merely conceals the darker side of human nature. In this portrait, best friends are treated as malformed and malicious via the artistic process and creative license.  True intent is concealed, and only with time, revealed.