Published to accompany the first Francis Bacon retrospective in Paris for twenty years, this catalogue analyses Bacon s works from 1971 onwards in light of his relationship to literature. Bacon always vigorously opposed over-analysis of his paintings, preferring to interpret them in purely illustrative or symbolic terms; he admitted, however, that literature was a powerful stimulus to his imagination. The artist was inspired by the images conjured up by certain texts: Aeschylus phrase the reek of human blood smiles out at me in particular haunted Bacon, while his 1978 work Painting refers to T. S. Eliot s seminal poem The Waste Land. The inventory of Bacon s personal library has identified more than 1,300 books, ranging from Bataille and Conrad to Nietzsche and Leiris. Including twelve of Bacon s renowned triptychs, this lavish publication features eleven gatefolds and some sixty paintings created by Bacon between 1971 and his death in 1992. Reproduced here with analyses of Bacon s paintings in the light of some of his most admired authors, these specially commissioned texts reveal new ways of understanding some of the most powerful works in the modern canon.