As a companion to Wild Life: Francis Bacon and Peter Beard, we invite you to follow The Diary, a digital project by the team at Ordovas. Over the coming weeks it will delve deeper into the friendship between Francis Bacon and Peter Beard, exploring personal correspondence, interviews, diaries and artworks. We hope that it will shed more light on the important and inspiring relationship between these two luminaries.

 

If you see somebody lying on the pavement in the sunlight, with blood streaming from him, that is in itself – the color of the blood against the pavement – very invigorating…exhilarating – In all the motor accidents I’ve seen, people strewn across the road, the first thing you think…
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Envelope addressed to Francis Bacon from Peter Beard, 1 August 1990 (verso and recto)
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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)  
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F.B.: I think one of the great fascinations of old photographs quite apart from the texture, the scratches, and stains and general quality of them, is that you think, “Now they’re all dead.” Those people who were walking about and never felt that death would come to them, as the…
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‘One of the first times I went [to Francis Bacon’s studio], he was working on the centre panel of a triptych called Sweeney Agonistes – a murder scene in a train compartment – and I had a Polaroid with me and took some pictures of it. Later he told me that looking…
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7 Reece Mews London SW7. Re Peter Beard Arles Computer Dissolve Paris M.O.M.A 1986. 1 hr. Attention Getty Museum Group Having for many years seen the remarkable Diaries and photographs that Peter Beard has made to record a unique and remarkable life, I believe this form of documentation has enormous…
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A trillion greetings – in this list of non-news “Le Bestouan” Cassis B. du R. October 15th, 1985 deer Francis, I DO believe in SYMBIOSIS and I think often of your words concerning the dead eles * -> in some way I hope they offered a chance for you to…
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‘[Francis Bacon] painted me between 1975 and ’78 – four triptychs, and a lot of singles also, heads. Nobody ever sits for Bacon – he did it just from photos and knowing me. In one triptych, my shaved head from Kamiti Prison is on the right – there I am,…
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FB: I’m not certain if I know what you’re saying. PB: A picture being like life; a balance of chaos and order; a balance of speed and meticulous carefulness; a balance of strength and terrific delicacy; a balance of humor and terrific wisdom; morbidness and recognized beauty; primitiveness and very…
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‘I was at one of [Francis Bacon’s] openings at the Marlborough Gallery in London where he was standing in some kind of reception line and I simply said, ‘Hi – Peter Beard’. He said, ‘I know who you are.’ It was my very great luck that he had just bought…
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‘As an unusual favor, Bacon set up this portrait on the top of a building he had just bought, 80 Narrow Street. I had complete free will in whatever I wanted to do. I started off with the Thames River in the background and just talking to Bacon about things…
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