Francis Bacon's Preserved Art Studio – Dublin, Ireland - Atlas Obscura
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Dublin, Ireland

Francis Bacon's Preserved Art Studio

The chaotic studio of one of the 20th century's most important artists has been preserved down to the dust.  

Francis Bacon was born in Dublin in 1909 and went on to gain great prominence as a leading personality of figurative paintings in the 1900s. His style was often considered to be confrontational and unrestrained. Bacon is best known for his work depicting religious iconography and portraits of friends that were deemed emotionally charged.

Like his paintings, his personal life was often erratic, fueled by alcohol and violence. Bacon died of a heart attack in 1992 at the age of 82. The studio where he worked was as chaotic as you’d expect, and it’s been preserved for visitors to come and see.

After his death, the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, Ireland, was able to obtain the entire contents of his artists’ studio at 7 Reece Mews, South Kensington, London, in 1998. The entire space was broken down into its parts. Over 7,000 articles were collected and cataloged, including everything from paintbrushes to art supplies, and even the dust! The ceiling, the walls, and the narrow staircase that led up to the studio were even taken. The massive collection was then reassembled in great detail and precision using architectural maps and photographs.  

After an extensive and exhaustive period of assemblage, the exact replica was opened to the public in 2001. In life, Francis Bacon had often said to friends that he would only return to Dublin “Once I am dead” and the preserved art studio to a certain extent fulfilled this premonition. 

Know Before You Go

Entrance to the Hugh Lane Gallery is free. Francis Bacon's Art Studio is located at the back of the museum. Opening hours vary, generally, 9:45 a.m.- 6 p.m., but check the website for specific times.

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