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Episode 536             Episode 538
Episode 537

Fragment of a Crucifixion
Wed, 2018-Oct-24 00:33 UTC
Length - 2:28

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Wednesday, 24 October 2018 is Fragment of a Crucifixion.

Fragment of a Crucifixion is an unfinished 1950 painting by the Irish-born figurative painter Francis Bacon. It shows two animals engaged in an existential struggle; the upper figure, which may be a dog or a cat, crouches over a chimera and is at the point of kill. It stoops on the horizontal beam of a T-shaped structure, which may signify Christ's cross. The painting contains thinly sketched passer-by figures, who appear as if oblivious to the central drama.

Typical of Bacon's work, the painting is drawn from a wide variety of sources, including the screaming mouth of the nurse in Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 film Battleship Potemkin and iconography from both the Crucifixion of Jesus and the descent from the cross. The chimera's despair forms the centrepiece of the work; its agony can be compared to Bacon's later works focusing on the motif of an open mouth.

Although the title has religious connotations, Bacon's personal outlook was bleak; as an atheist, he did not believe in either divine intervention nor an afterlife. As such, the work seems to represent a nihilistic and hopeless view of the human condition. He later dismissed the painting, considering it too literal and explicit. He abandoned the theme of the crucifixion for the following 12 years, not returning to it until the more loosely based, but equally bleak, triptych Three Studies for a Crucifixion. The painting is housed in the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:33 UTC on Wednesday, 24 October 2018.

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