Return to London

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On his return to London Bacon achieved some renown as a furniture designer. The Studio magazine devoted a double-page article to his work, entitled "The 1930 Look in British Decoration". He soon rejected this path and turned to painting. He first gained recognition as a painter, most notably with Crucifixion, 1933 but it wasn't until the mid-1940s that his artistic career took off. The critical success of his Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, 1944, established Bacon as a new force in post-war art. Apart from periods spent in Monte Carlo, Tangier and Paris, he spent the rest of his life in London.

His high spirits, ready wit and exceptional generosity attracted people from a wide variety of backgrounds including artists, writers and Soho eccentrics. Many of these individuals feature repeatedly in his portraits. During his lifetime, Bacon had major exhibitions in cities such as London, Paris, New York, Washington, Dublin, Los Angeles and Moscow. The artist died in Madrid on 28 April 1992.