It was fascinating to discover that the English artist Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992) traveled regularly to Morocco in the mid 20th century. Bacon’s longtime partner, Peter Lacy, had settled in Tangier in the 1950’s, and so the renowned painter would regularly travel there. At that time Tangier was known for its progressive culture and lifestyle, which attracted a number of liberal and creative figures, giving it the reputation as a good vibes destination back then.
Artistically Bacon produced several works inspired by his experience of Moroccan culture. He had been particularly allured by its vibrant colors in both urban and rural landscapes.
Unfortunately, only a few paintings from this place and period are known to have survived. That is because Bacon had the bad habit of destroying his works if they didn’t measure up to his standards.
One of those Tangier paintings that made the cut was the masterpiece ‘’Pope’’, an oil on canvas made around 1958. Here an interesting article from Sothebys website.
As we can surely relate to, Bacon was mesmerized by the country and his summers spent there were cherished, as evidenced by this photograph taken in Tangier of the artist with the Moroccan painter Ahmed Yacoubi.
Not the first neither the last artist to be seduced by the Maghreb!