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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.