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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : Reina Sofia : Room 427

Today we arrive at Reina Sofia’s Room 427 – Figures of Human Being, for our weekly Museum Guide excursion, led by Divvya Nirula.

This gallery outlines the shift in styles of Figuration that developed after 1940. Presented here are our top three must-see objects on view here. Next time you visit the museum, do not miss these!

1. Lying Figure, 1966, by Francis Bacon
2. Where the Railroad Leaves the Sea, 1964, by R. B. Kitaj
3. Confrontation, 1974, by Philip Guston

Image credit for artworks : Reina Sofia

Some fun facts about the Museum :

  • While most artists rejected figuration after the end of World War II, there were still some who chose to explore the human body.
  • This form of figuration however, was very different than that from the pre-war era.
  • During the war, people had witnessed immense cruelty – humans initiating violence against other humans. Brutality. Mortality. Vulnerability of the human body. These ideas were adopted and represented by these artists.
  • They chose to show the human body in its most grotesque and weak form. Not as something of great beauty and pride. But as a liability.
  • Francis Bacon is one of the most important and famous artists from this era. His works tend to be especially disturbing in their depictions of pain and torture – both physical and psychological.

A Final Thought :

It is true that art is a mirror of society. And we realise this especially whilst viewing the works in this gallery. Artists had witnessed such terror during the war, that they no longer shied away from themes and depictions that were considered too outrageous, too intense or too honest. The truth was that the wars had irrevocably damaged the psyche of human society. And this was simply reflected in the art of the time.


Visit Art From Us Archive for Museum Guide collated by Divvya Nirula. Here you shall find more suggestions on where you should visit next. And what you should see there. 

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