Eadweard muybridge

Feral showstoppers and some of the greatest paintings of the 20th century: Francis Bacon at the RA reviewed

The superb new exhibition at the Royal Academy, Francis Bacon: Man and Beast, is not a retrospective. Nonetheless it is one of the most revealing presentations of this great painter’s work I have ever seen. It follows one of the most important of the chains of thought and feeling that ran through his art — animality: the beastliness in humanity, and the humanity of beasts. He was a great master of the feral. ‘Man with Dog’ (1953) depicts a creature with which it would be hazardous to tangle: a blurred, slathering smear with just a hint of Cerberus, the ancient guardian of Hades. Just below its paws is the gutter,