‘Because the places I live in, or like living in, are like an autobiography, I like the marks that have been made by myself, or other people, to be left. They’re like memory tracks for me. I could do them up each time and cover them up again. For instance, this door, somebody broke it in a rage over something; well, I’ve left it because I like it like that, also the broken mirror and the papers on the floor.’

‘There are two sides to me. I like very perfect things, for instance. I like perfection on a very grand scale. In a way I would like to live in a very grand place. But as in painting you make such a mess, I prefer to live in the mess with the memories and the damage left with one. I think we all have this double side to us. One likes disorder and one likes order. We have to battle for order.’

Francis Bacon in conversation with Peter Beard (Henry Geldzahler’s introduction to the exhibition catalogue Francis Bacon: Recent Paintings 1968-1974, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1975).  

Peter Beard, Francis Bacon at Work, 7 Reece Mews, South Kensington, Lon S.W.7, 1968-9/2012