Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The Francis Bacon and da Silva Bruhns Carpet, Part 2

The information in this post has been updated. For more details check the October 16 2009 post, or the articles published in The Art Newspaper in October 2009 or Hali in December 2009, to which The Carpet Index has been associated.

A comment left in June about our first blog post concerning the Bacon/da Silva Bruhns rug, has required us to produce an updated post with complementary information, in order to avoid any misleading interpretations. The comment is listed, as received, at the end of this post.

Bacon's rug p. 21 (original in colour) from Contemporary Rugs, Chistopher Farr eds., 2002. The Carpet Index Library

1) Latest Post
Our original post was followed by an exchange of emails with Clive Rogers from, who had the opportunity to see the Francis Bacon rugs for himself. It appears that the signature was actually woven with the rest of the rug. From the photos of the backing of the Francis Bacon rug, we are able to classify Bacon's work in at least two of the following groups:

i) Rugs designed by Bacon from compositions inspired by other designers like da Silva Bruhns. We estimate that these pieces were produced at the beginning of his career in London in 1928-29.

ii) Rugs from Bacon's own art work, the original design being either a specific composition for a rug, or an abstract painting that would have been transposed for the floor (see Bacon's studio paintings of Roy de Maistre). These carpets were produced in 1929-30.

Regarding the weaving workshop, from the different photos seen, we are not able to identify with absolute certainty, where the actual weaving of the rugs took place. We have excluded a continental knotting, French or Belgian, and consider that it could either have been produced by Donegal, or the first type of weaving method used by the Wilton Royal Carpet Factory Ltd. The latter would have have been changed for another double knot technique that was then used for its rugs. On this particular subject, research is still ongoing.

2) Details about Jean Manuel de Noronha
The comment below is an opinion, and therefore does not necessarily bring any new information in order to solve the problems encountered. However, it might help to clarify the situation by stating the qualifications of de Noronha, in order to set the record straight. Therefore, we can confirm that Jean Manuel de Noronha has no connection with any auction house, merchant, or antique seller. He has been involved professionally for over 15 years in the business of modern oriental rugs and wall-to-wall floor coverings. He began his desk and field research for documentation in 1992. He is not officially registered as an expert and does not act as such; however, he can provide professional documentary assistance when and if required. The present blog offers the opportunity to express his personal opinions and to share his passion for his subject through the wider audience made available by the Internet.

3) Comment of Mr Ruach
Having reviewed a number of related online articles of similar themes, it is becoming apparent that a vicious "spin" campaigned is being organised by a small circle of "so called carpet auctioneers and experts".

Simply waving some names and references to purport as research is just not good enough. Some of these armchair experts, having never seen the carpet themselves, let alone physical proof of materials etc. just revel in "stating the contrary".

Online conspiracy theories are rife and sadly some individuals seem to have not only lost others but their own marbles too.

Post written by Jean Manuel de Noronha

1 comment:

info said...

Given the fact that this artist of such stature made so few of these rugs I find it incredible that nobody has bothered to research these thoroughly. This might demonstrate how those of 'fine art' sneer at perceived 'decorative art' - or something like that! Bacon himself quickly dismissed his rugs and it seems as though the entire Art establishment went in his train. The situation was different in the early 20th cent in some quarters.