Painting of Pope Innocent X by Francis Bacon to be auctioned

I am posting this because if it hasn’t made the news yet, it will as the auction date approaches. Given the…unusual nature of the painting, it may even figure on blogs and social media. So this thread is meant to be a heads up.

Sometimes known as “:the Screaming Pope,” it is one of Bacon’s better known works. It hasn’t been seen since 1975, since it is in private hands, but often gets a mention in books on 20th century art. (BTW, the painting was made in 1954. It has no connection to the Renaissance era philosopher and essayist who is also named Francis Bacon.)

The name of the piece is “Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X.” However, the auction house Sotheby’s lists it as “Untitled.” It is expected to fetch $18 million to $25 million at the auction on Nov. 3rd.

Here is a side by side comparison of VVelázquez’ work, and the piece made by Bacon.

(I will leave you to guess which is which)

Bacon prices are going up! Bacon did a series of “Pope” pictures; the one posted above is the one for sale at Sotheby’s per Huffington Post.

Just updating my Ebay membership and PayPal info, so I can be sure to snipe the highest bid just 2 sec from auction end… :wink:

It’s a pretty nasty picture. What is it supposed to signify though?

oops :blush:

Thanks for the correction. :thumbsup:

That he’s in hell. He wasn’t too popular. There’s a pic on this wiki page of St Michael and Satan. Satan is supposed to look like Innocent X.

I have to agree that was a pretty nasty man… he should’ve done one on Leo X or Clement VII too.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit