Francis Bacon is one of the most famous 20th Century British painters. He is known for his raw graphic style and distorted images of people. Margaret Thatcher described him as "that man who paints those dreadful paintings".
Bacon had a troubled childhood. He was forced to leave home at 16, and lived a rootless existence in London, Berlin and Paris. But in 1927, a Picasso exhibition in Paris inspired him to take up painting. By his 30s he was a successful artist.
Bacon turned traditional paintings of people inside out, with grotesquely distorted faces and twisted body parts. Some of his most famous artworks are inspired by old masters - such as Head VI, based on Portrait Of Pope Innocent X by the Spanish artist Diego Velazquez.
In the 1960s, Bacon fell in love with petty criminal George Dyer after he caught him breaking into his home. Dyer featured in many of Bacon's works during this period, such as Study for Head of George Dyer. Dyer died of a drugs overdose but that did not stop Bacon obsessively painting him. Some of the paintings, such as Triptych, May-June 1973, show Dyer as he was found slumped dead in a hotel bathroom.