Francis Bacon, 1951

Black and white photo of Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon © Cecil Beaton Archive, Sothebys London / Collection National Portrait Gallery, London

Bacon was a friend of Beaton's with whom he said he had 'tremendous rapport'. Bacon painted his portrait in February 1960. Beaton was horrified with the unflattering result;

'The face was hardly recognisable as a face for it was disintegrating before your eyes, suffering from a severe case of elephantitis...'.

Bacon destroyed the portrait shortly afterwards, not wishing Beaton to have something of his that he did not like.

Photographed at Beaton's London home, 8 Pelham Place.