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Thursday 26th October 2023 at 7pm

Francis Bacon outside Castlehacket House, Co. Galway, Ireland, c.1924. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2023

Photo: (right to left) : Dr Margarita Cappock, The Ireland Funds Monaco autumn 2023 bursar, Mr Majid Boustany, Founder of the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation and Paula Farquharson, Director, Princess Grace Irish Library

Dr Cappock recently worked on a documentary about Bacon with Adam Clayton - U2 band member and fan of the artist. Some footage was filmed in Monaco, where Bacon lived for some time. With the collaboration of the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation, the documenatary revealed new information about Bacon's first painting, which hangs on the wall at the foundation. The Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation has established itself as an internationally recognised resource for scholars, art historians, researchers and curators; it and;it is open to the public throughout the year, by appointment only.

For info click :  Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation in Monaco

Lecture at the library in Monaco

Thursday 26th October 2023 at 7pm

The Ireland Funds Monaco Bursary recipient for autumn 2023 was Dr Margarita Cappock and she spent her residency at the Princess Grace Irish Library during October. The illustrated lecture by Dr. Cappock explored the early life in Ireland of the celebrated artist Francis Bacon (1909-1992) and the complex relationship the artist had with Ireland, the land of his birth. Contrary to the belief that Bacon fled Ireland at 16 years of age, never to return, a little known trip to the west of Ireland in 1929 with his companion and first patron, Eric Allden, reveals how influential Ireland was for Bacon and how the origins of Bacon’s artistic life can be traced to the depths of Connemara in the west of Ireland.  Dr Cappock also revealed the Irish links with the early furniture of Irish designer, Eileen Gray, and how they proved influential for the young Bacon. Rare early examples of Bacon’s furniture designs and the best collection of early paintings by Bacon are in the collection of the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation in Monaco which was initiated by Majid Boustany and is dedicated to promoting a deeper understanding of Francis Bacon’s art, life and working practice.  These works featured extensively in the talk.

NOTE: this lecture was not recorded

Francis Bacon in the Monte Carlo Casino Gardens by John Edwards, 1986. © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2023

Francis Bacon, ‘Painting’, c. 1930

© The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Photo © Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation /MB Art Collection

About the speaker

Dr. Margarita Cappock is an art historian, curator and writer. She was formerly Head of Collections at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin which she joined in 1999 as Project Manager of the Francis Bacon Studio and Archive, where she coordinated the documentation and reconstruction of Bacon's Reece Mews studio and its contents. She is currently the project-lead on the establishment of the Harry Clarke Museum of Irish Stained Glass in Dublin.  

She is chair of the International Council of Museums (Ireland). She has written extensively on Francis Bacon and is the author of the book, Francis Bacon's Studio (Merrell Publishers, London and New York, 2005) and has contributed several articles on Francis Bacon and other Irish, British and American Artists for The Burlington Magazine, Irish Arts Review and several other academic journals and exhibition catalogues, nationally and internationally. She has lectured worldwide on Francis Bacon’s studio and acted as Curatorial advisor for exhibitions on Francis Bacon at the Hermitage, St. Petersburg; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Kunsthistorisches, Vienna; BOZAR, Brussels. She wrote a book on the Irish Artist Sarah Cecilia Harrison which was published in 2022.

She also was concept originator and co-presenter with Adam Clayton of U2 on the documentary, ‘Francis Bacon: The Outsider’ which aired on RTE1 on 15 December 2022 and is available on the RTE player. This was made with the collaboration of the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation in Monaco. 

With the support of

The library is extremely grateful for the support of The Ireland Funds, a global philanthropic organisation, which promotes and supports peace, culture, education and community development throughout the island of Ireland, and Irish-related causes around the world. It funds this biannual bursary for a writer or an academic to spend a month at the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco to pursue a writing or research project. For more detail on the bursaries click HERE

We also acknowledge our gratitude for the support of The Estate of Francis Bacon in London for use of the photos of Francis Bacon and his paintings and our thanks also to the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation /MB Art Collection in Monaco for their ongoing collaboration and for welcoming Dr Cappock to undertake research at their premises during her residency at the Princess Grace Irish Library.




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