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Portrait of Henrietta Moraes on a Blue Couch

© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2024. Photo credit: Manchester Art Gallery

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This painting is a portrait of Henrietta Moraes, a companion of Bacon's who, like him, often frequented The Colony Room Club in Soho, London. This work was executed from a photograph of Moraes, taken by John Deakin, a Vogue photographer; it displays Moraes naked and distorted upon a large couch trimmed with flesh-pink, which seems to be engulfing her. Moraes' reclining body is painted in flesh and white tones, the body has a distorted, broken syntax making the figure appear to be exposing her muscular structure. To the right there is an open door with a key in the lock. The strip of colour on the right also suggests a red room beyond. There is a charcoal grey interior, which creates an oppressive atmosphere within the portrait. This was created by applying a thin wash of paint to bare canvas.

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester

Title

Portrait of Henrietta Moraes on a Blue Couch

Date

1965

Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 198 x W 147 cm

Accession number

1979.603

Acquisition method

purchased from Ronald K. Greenberg, 1979

Work type

Painting

Inscription description

Unsigned

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Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester M2 3JL England

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