Francis Bacon's "Screaming Popes"


In the picture above, Diego Velázquez's 1650 portrait of Pope Innocent X is on the left while Francis Bacon's "Study after Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X" is on the right. Francis Bacon's work entitled "Study after Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X" is indicative of classic détournement. When placed side by side next to Diego Velázquez's 1650 portrait of Pope Innocent X, one can see how Bacon's portrait various from the original in the sense that it can be familiar to its audience, yet portrays an entirely different message from the first portrait. Bacon's portrait undercuts the portrayal of power and self-possession captured in Velázquez's work. Instead, Bacon utilizes grotesque themes and a screaming mouth to illustrate the idea of "existential despair," or the frustration with one's own existence and purpose. How else do you think Bacon's work redefines the original portrait of Pope Innocent X? Do you think that this type of détournement can be considered the criminal act of plagiarism, as it is based off of another artists work?

#religion #plagiarism #art

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