With the aid of over 250 source images and documents, many hitherto unknown, this book reveals how photography, film, mass-media imagery and other sources informed Bacons painting and, in particular, how lens-based images, as he put it, helped to trigger the most significant turning-point in his stylistic development. Key influences, including the masters Velazquez, Poussin and Rodin, the photographer Eadweard Muybridge and the film director Sergei Eisenstein, are discussed. So too are the precedents set by other artists working in the tradition of making use of mechanical reproductions artists including Picasso and Sickert. Bacons work is also viewed in the context of his contemporaries, such as Lucian Freud, Mark Rothko, Graham Sutherland and Patrick Heron. In addition, analysis of elements of Bacons biography and psychology leads to some startling and original insights into the man and the unique iconography of his art. This is a book that addresses important questions about Bacons painting practice and sheds new light on his life and work.