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Close share via email share via facebook share via twitter. Few painters have defined the post—World War II era with its existential loathing better than Francis Bacon, the brilliant son of an Irish horse trainer. His breakthrough came with a triptych, ostensibly a Crucifixion but more properly described as ghouls gathered around a spectacle of human degradation. Bars and railings, as in Study for Nude, separate the incarcerated subject from the curious spectator. His scenes appear airless and contained within imaginary glass walls. The artist's asthmatic condition may have contributed to the aura of suffocation that weighs down these voyeuristic nightmares. The sources for Bacon's pictures are surprisingly diverse.