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Revisiting the art of Francis Bacon and his contemporaries

Hammer, Martin (2013) Revisiting the art of Francis Bacon and his contemporaries. PhD based on Published Works thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86519) (KAR id:86519)


The nine items that I am submitting for a PhD by publication (two books and seven articles, amounting to some 220,000 words in total) constitute, I claim, a coherent body of research in terms of both subject-matter and of underlying art-historical methodology. The field studied is British figurative painting during the 1940s and 1950s, with particular reference to the art of Francis Bacon, who emerged as an innovative and influential figure at that time. Other British artists under scrutiny include Graham Sutherland, Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach. My main interest is in visual intelligence and the process of visual translation within creativity, as discussed in the accompanying, 12,000 word

reflective essay. I seek to analyse how artists feed in a highly purposeful and inventive manner off one another (Bacon and Sutherland in the 1940s), off their predecessors (such as Edgar Degas, Waiter Sickert, Chaim Soutine, Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti) and, especially in the case of Bacon, off various kinds of photographic imagery, above all propaganda emanating from pre-war Nazi Germany. This approach serves to embed the interpretation of meaning and content, a crucial concern for all these artists against the backdrop of a profoundly traumatic period in world history, within the analysis of formal language and of the process whereby artists and extend and manipulate to their own ends available resources of two-dimensional imagery.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD based on Published Works)
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86519
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Francis Bacon; British painting
Subjects: N Visual Arts > ND Painting
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 13:55 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 15:28 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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