Francis Bacon was a painter who redefined and rattled the art world with his triptych paintings way back in 1944 and is now amongst the most sought after artists. One of his triptychs created history in 2013 when it was auctioned for $142.4 million. I had the privilege of accidentally visiting his birthplace in Dublin.
I have been travelling a lot for my office work during last few years and most of the time trips used to be at least for 3-4 days and sometimes little longer. After the first couple of trips, one routine I started following was to get up early in the morning whatever the place I was in and go for a walk.
Getting up early & morning walks helped me to acclimatize to the weather of the new city quickly, to get back to routine faster, to get over the jet-lag easily and last but not the least to get to know the place better. During these walks through the city streets I could get a better feel of the city as well as discovering those little known secrets and the less publicized destinations which are tucked inside the nooks and corners.
I would follow a different route every day. Being early morning, there wouldn't be too much of crowd or traffic on the roads, thus enabling me to move faster. A couple of years back, when I visited the Irish capital city of Dublin, I followed the same routine. Dublin is a very small but extremely beautiful city. After a couple of visits, I realized that to enjoy and get the feel of the city, walking is the best option. In many places, there are walking trails which one can use to explore the city. One of the trails that I liked the most was near Bray... a place about 15 kms away from the city but well connected by local trains from the city center. The trail is on a cliff running alongside the sea-shore and one of the most picturesque places. If you want more information on many more such trails, you may want to check the Dublin Tourism site.
In parenthesis, I cannot resist mentioning this: I have visited Dublin four-five times over a period of 2-3 years and Ireland visas occupy most of the pages of my passport. I think Ireland will be a policy of granting a 5 or 10 year visa for tourists, if it is not implemented already. It will be a big boost to the tourism.
To those who may not have read much about Dublin, it is the capital of the Irish Republic. It is just an hour's flight away from London and Paris and is well connected with many cities. Aer Lingus is the national carrier of Ireland and it connects Dublin with many cities across the world with direct flights. Apart from this, many other airlines connect with Dublin. Alternatively, there is sea route also available from a couple of British cities.
Dublin has a rich history with both historical and modern monuments to visit apart from its natural beauty. To name a few destinations: Dublin Castle (built in 1204 CE), Trinity College (for the Book of Kells), and last but not the least the Guinness Brewery which also publishes the famous Guinness Book of World Records.
During one of my morning walks, I stumbled upon the birthplace of the famous artist Francis Bacon (28 October 1909 – 28 April 1992).Bacon was an Anglo-Irish figurative painter known for his bold characterization of human figures and emotions. He took up painting in his early 20s but worked irregularly and pursued different professional avenues until his mid-30s. His big breakthrough and the turning point of his career came in 1944 with his triptych "Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion", which in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, sealed his reputation as a unique chronicler of the human condition. In fact those paintings marked a beginning of an era. Triptychs are paintings which occupy three panels.
Since his death his reputation and market value have grown steadily, and his work is amongst the most acclaimed, expensive and sought-after. In the late 1990s a number of major works, previously believed destroyed, including early 1950s Popes and 1960s portraits, reemerged to set record prices at auction. On 12 November 2013, one of his paintings set the world record as the most expensive piece of art sold at auction, selling for $142.4 million until it was surpassed by the sale of a Picasso later. You can see most of his paintings online.
Since it was early morning, I could not check if there is any museum inside the house now… maybe on one of my next trips, I will visit the place again during day time. I also hope that by now the Dublin Tourism authorities have started a guided tour to the house and to the works of the most celebrated son of the soil.