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Look Here: DARKNESS AT NOON, with cover art by Francis Bacon

How many times has a painting by Francis Bacon appeared on the cover of a book that is not about the life and/or art of Francis Bacon? I’m no expert, but I can only think of one instance — you are welcome to post a comment if you know of more! — and here it is, scanned from my personal library, along with a small, low-quality JPEG of Bacon’s original painting, Man in Blue V:


Now, although Bacon’s painting itself is simply composed and nearly monochromatic in colour, the contrasty, cropped, colour-reduced version on display on the cover of Darkness at Noon reads to me as little more than a shadow of The Man.

Francis Bacon was born 28 October 1909 and died on this day, 28 April, back in 1992. In other words, today is the twenty-first anniversary of the death of Francis Bacon.


A reader delurked today to bring to my attention another book cover with art by Bacon: Hadrianus VII by Fr. Rolfe (Baron Corvo), with the Fr. being short for “Frederick”. Here’s what it looks like:

The tiny image posted above — the only one I could find on short notice — is from the catalogue of an online bookseller.

Thanks, Arthur!

Keywords: Darkness at Noon.

3 thoughts on “Look Here: DARKNESS AT NOON, with cover art by Francis Bacon

  1. I can think of another instance: the Dutch translation of Hadrian the Seventh (Hadrianus VII) features Study after Pope Innocent X. Love your blog, by the way.


  2. Hadrian the Seventh (Hadrianus VII), by F.R. Rolfe a.k.a. Baron Corvo, by the way. Published by De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam.


  3. Hi Arthur! Thanks very much for taking the time to bring Frederick Rolfe’s book to my attention. As you can see, I’ve added a tiny scan of Hadrianus VII to the body of the post.

    Thanks also for the kind words about RCN. It’s not easy to enjoy a site that is as thinly scattered in terms of content as this one is. Truth be told, I’ve been so “all over the map” with my posts lately, I’m surprised RCN has any regular visitors at all at this point.


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