The 1930 Look in British Decoration From 1928 to 1930, a very young Francis Bacon worked in London, Paris and Berlin, designing interiors and pieces of furniture. I found a picture of his interior work – just one picture, and what a thrill to see it. When he was 19, his studio in South Kensington was featured in an interiors magazine in a piece entitled “The 1930 Look in British Decoration” – article recently posted in the Telegraph. He was only 19 years old! Can you see how the shapes in the interior design are similar to the shapes that would later be in his paintings? First Paintings… I Mean Rugs Have you ever seen early Francis Bacon paintings? The awkward in-between steps in artistic skill and style that every artist has to take when they are becoming themselves? What did Bacon paint before he was when he was Francis Bacon? You probably haven’t seen his early works, because as soon as Bacon found his style he destroyed them all. …Well, almost all of them. He left these rugs, and a watercolor. Rugs. Yes, rugs. When Bacon was an interior designer, he had a few rugs made. Though he wanted to destroy them like his other earlier work, his clients begged him not to. Like a thief who was vain enough to leave a clue, these rugs show us a piece of the artist he was before he was Francis Bacon. He should have destroyed them so I couldn’t be reposting them now. Here they are, rugs designed by Francis Bacon. Evidently Bacon was influenced by other designers at the time, though he neglected to give them credit. Take a look at this comparison of rugs posted by Mariano Akerman. First Known Painting Below, Watercolour (1929), is Francis Bacon’s earliest surviving painting. It appears to have evolved from rug designs, with cubism stirred in. (Cubism began in 1907, and had matured by 1918.) Here’s another painting from 1929-1930. This one has a door! Doors would become a common theme in Francis Bacon’s later paintings. Clearly he hasn’t quite figured out how to paint yet, but it’s there. You can see it coming. Isn’t that exciting? There it is. The inception of Bacon. What do you think?