Late 19th & early 20th Century Paintings & Decorative Arts Gallery Level 2, NGV International
Original, maker unknown
Francis Bacon's Study from the human body (Felton Bequest 1950) came to the collection in 1951 in the current frame, which can safely be considered the original presentation of the picture.
The frame is a simple wood moulding with a flat, stepped top edge and prominent scotia. The surface is gilded with false gold directly onto an off-white ground.
Bacon had a preference for heavy gilded frames fitted with protective glazing. The former referenced the legacy of his artistic predecessors, while the latter was a device to physically and symbolically distance the work from the viewer. Sylvester, D. (1987) Interviews with Francis Bacon. London : Thames and Hudson
The profile is one that would in previous times have carried runs of decorative moulding, in a style that might have been regarded as ‘Empire’. This method of using unadorned mouldings as the full substance of the frame became a common device in framing through the twentieth century.
For many years this painting was glazed with perspex. In September 2009 a piece of laminated optical coated glass was fitted to the painting.