Forms of feeling: The human body in distress Largely self-taught as an artist Francis Bacon (19091992) developed a unique ability to transform interior and unconscious impulses into figurative forms and intensely claustrophobic compositions. Emerging into notoriety in the period following World War II Bacon took the human body as his nominal subject but a subject ravaged distorted and dismembered so as to writhe and wail with intense emotional content. With flailing limbs hollow voids and tumurous growths his gripping often grotesque portraits are as much reflections on the trials and the traumas of the human condition as they are character studies. These haunting forms were also among the first in art history to depict overtly homosexual themes. This book introduces Bacon’s erotic unsettling unforgettable oeuvre a transformative body of work often emulated much analysed and above all felt. Luigi Ficacci studied art history in Rome under Giulio Carlo Argan. For many years he was curator at the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica in Rome and lectured at various Italian universities. Since 2007 he has been Bologna’s general museum director (Soprintendente ai Beni Culturali). The focal points of his research work are the issues raised by 17th and 18th century and contemporary Italian and European art. About the Series Each book in TASCHENs Basic Art series features: a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist covering his or her cultural and historical importance a concise biography approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions.