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Poverty of the artist as young man.


HE'S one of Ireland's greatest artists and his paintings sell for EUR50 million, but Francis Bacon was once so broke he threatened to quit art and become a cook.

Letters just discovered show the painter, who lost a fortune gambling, was reduced to begging for handouts from his art dealers.

One letter read: "Is it possible to make me a small advance? I am quite broke, and canvas and paints are terribly expensive."

In another he said: "If I can't sell anything or haven't anything to sell, I will get a job as a valet or cook."

Barry Joule, Bacon's friend who is now writing a memoir about him, said: "I haven't seen these letters before. They're a revelation.

"His poverty is perhaps overlooked because of the prices paid for his paintings later in his life."


Broke... Francis Bacon
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 25, 2010
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