Pope Innocent X by Velazquez
housed in the Galleria Doria Pamphili in Rome.
In the evolution of Francis Bacon's art, especially in its initial stages, several motifs are repeated frequently. Some of them come from specific paintings of the past, such as the portrait of Pope Innocent X by Velazquez
About Bacon (many popes)
"The final night of a week of spectacular art sales in London saw a record of £14 million set for a Francis Bacon painting at Christie's. 10/02/2007
Study for Portrait II, from Bacon's series of "Pope" paintings inspired by Velazquez, made .. an impact... Bids for the brooding picture shot up in £500,000 segments and it was sold in less than two minutes.
Christie's had called it the most important picture from the series to appear on the market and it almost doubled the auction record for a Bacon - £7.8 million set last year." Telegraph article
The painting is from Bacon's most famous series, The Screaming Popes, based on Velásquez's great portrait of Pope Innocent X.
Bacon never saw the 17th century painting, though he obsessively bought prints of it; he once said that he would have been afraid to confront the original, after manipulating it "so atrociously".