Immediately around the figure are small horse-shoe shapes with traces of magenta which continue across the top of the figure’s legs.Under preliminary infra red inspection these are revealed as flowers similar to those found in Bacon’s contemporary paintings, although their place within the composition is uncertain.Typically, he drew on various sources, including photography.The work’s exhibition in April 1945 coincided with the release of the first photographs and film footage of the Nazi concentration camps.This panel is the most thickly painted and cracking indicates the application of lean oil paint on top of a ‘fatter’ layer that was still drying; large areas of the orange appear to have darkened to brown over time.The (brown, orange and yellow) for the strands of the figure’s chestnut hair; this is especially delicate as no fixative was applied.Most appreciable are the forms in the unpainted areas to the lower right quarter which extend towards the figure in a series of linked, but indecipherable, curves.
(5, repr.), Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Turin, Sept.-Oct. Research has thrown light upon the earlier years, but most critics have followed the artist’s lead in discussing the when it was first shown in London in April 1945.
This does not easily co-ordinate with the other underpainting and any continuity is further disguised by the intervening area (immediately below the pedestal) which has a heavy application of black beneath the orange.
The figure in the right hand panel leans on an isolated patch of grass, and opens its mouth into a toothed yawn.
Whether this reflected Bacon’s lack of technical training is not certain but it is notable that in 1946 he wrote to Graham Sutherland from Monte Carlo about the subsequent contains the most centralised image which is reinforced by the converging space.
The body stands in an ambiguous relationship to its pedestal but turns its open glossy-lipped mouth and wrapped neck towards the viewer.