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Subject: Framing and glazing paintings by Francis Bacon

Framing and glazing paintings by Francis Bacon

From: Anne Skaliks <askaliks>
Date: Sunday, November 10, 2002
I have some questions on the framing and glazing of the works of
Francis Bacon; because we have to re-frame our work "Man in Blue V",
1954, for loan (and possibly for our permanent collection), we have
to get further information on his framing policy.

As far as I know the glazing is part of his artistic concept:
Wieland Schmied writes:

   "For several reasons, he preferred his paintings to be hung under
    glass. As well as protecting the surface and establishing a
    distance between the picture and the viewer, the glass helped
    Bacon himself to achieve a sense of detachment that prevented
    him from revising or destroying his  own work. Above all,
    however, it had the effect of reducing the volatility of the
    surface structure and endowing the work with a stronger feeling
    of coherence and finality."
    (Schmied, "Commitment and Conflict, 1996).

Schmied also gives another comment of Bacon on this theme here:

   "I feel that, because I use no varnishes or anything of that
    kind, and because of the very flat way I paint, the glass helps
    to unify the picture. I also like the distance between what has
    been done and the onlooker that the glass creates; I like the
    removal of the object as far as possible."
    (Sylvester, 1987, p. 87).

Bacons opinion on glazing in general seems to come out very clearly
in these comments--but what kind of glazing should it be in
particular? Can we derive the conclusion, especially from the last
sentence, "I like the removal of the object as far as possible.",
that a reflective material--e.g. acrylic or polycarbon glass
(Plexiglass, Makrolon, ...)--would be the right material to use?
>From practical and safety aspects, considering the large size of the
work, this would be much easier than using a non-reflective,
laminated glass as we usually do for our collections.

The other question is the framing itself; now the work has a
silvered frame screwed to the back side that doesn`t allow glazing
at all because there`s no rabbet. We don`t know if this frame could
be original--gilded frames seem to be more common in Bacons work.

We would need comparative examples to come to a decision and would
be happy about any comments or advice,

Anne Skaliks
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K20
Dusseldorf, Germany
+49 211 8381 /191
Fax: +49 211 8381/201

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:33
                Distributed: Thursday, November 14, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-16-33-019
Received on Sunday, 10 November, 2002

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