CULTURE & ARTS

How Francis Bacon Turned To Sculpture Master Henry Moore For Help

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 12:  A gallery technician at Sotheby's auction house adjusts a painting by Francis Bacon entitled 'Fi
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 12: A gallery technician at Sotheby's auction house adjusts a painting by Francis Bacon entitled 'Figure Writing Reflected in Mirror' which is expected to fetch 25 million GBP on April 12, 2012 in London, England. The painting is on view alongside 'The Scream' by Edvard Munch which is on public exhibition in London for the first time prior to the 'Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale' at Sotheby?s New York on May 2, 2012 where it is expected to fetch in excess of 50 million GBP. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Both were heavyweights of 20th-century art, known for their striking images of the human form, but painter Francis Bacon and sculptor Henry Moore kept a respectful distance – beyond shared exhibitions and some barbed mutual criticism.

Now a new picture of their relationship has emerged with the revelation that Bacon approached the sculptor to ask for lessons in his art form. Moore did not rise to the challenge, and Bacon never did create a sculpture, but imagining what might have been is exciting art historians, who discovered the story while researching a new exhibition on the two cultural giants for the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford this autumn.

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