By Lynn Brunet
The artist Francis Bacon (1909-1992) and the author Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) either express of their paintings a feeling of foreboding and confinement in bleak, ritualistic areas. This e-book identifies many similarities among the areas and actions they evoke and the initiatory practices of fraternal orders and mystery societies that have been an essential component of the social panorama of the eire skilled through either males in the course of childhood.
Many of those Irish societies modelled their ritual buildings and symbolism at the Masonic Order. Freemasons use the time period ‘spurious Freemasonry’ to designate these rituals no longer sanctioned through the Grand inn. The Masonic writer Albert Mackey argues that the spurious kinds have been these derived from many of the cult practices of the classical international and describes those initiatory practices as ‘a process serious and hard trials’. This analyzing of Bacon’s and Beckett’s paintings attracts on theories of trauma to signify that there is a nerve-racking hyperlink among Bacon’s stark imagery, Beckett’s imprecise performances and the unofficial use of Masonic rites.
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Additional info for 'A Course of Severe and Arduous Trials': Bacon, Beckett and Spurious Freemasonry in Early Twentieth-Century Ireland (Reimagining Ireland)
In various versions of Masonic rites the initiate is confronted with a number of threats, enacted as scenic representations, to maintain his silence about the content of the degrees. 58 It is not uncommon for fraternal initiations to go to extreme lengths to trick the initiate into believing that they are literally confronting death face-to-face and the use of blank gunshots to frighten the initiates is not uncommon. 59 In 1980 Bacon painted Three Figures, One with Shotgun. The figures are arranged on a scarlet coloured podium set on an orange background.
4 One of the anecdotes Bacon told in later years was that this soldier would lock him in a cupboard so as to have uninterrupted time with his sweetheart. Anthony Cronin comments on a discussion he had with Bacon over this memory. 5 It is possible that this memory could have been, in Freudian terms, a ‘screen memory’ 38 Chapter Two for more terrifying ordeals that could have taken place amongst soldiers. 6 The military environment in the Curragh during this period was known to contain unruly aspects.
108 The legs on the frame in this image are shaped like those of the dolmen, otherwise known as the Druid’s Altar. Figures perched on awkwardly shaped and altar-like benches appear in Triptych, 1974–7, and in Triptych – Studies of the Human Body, 1970. 109 He suggests that this concept of a site for visionary experience may have gradually been degraded into the concept of ‘beds’ in the mating sense. The presence of the many round beds in Bacon’s images may be relevant here. In the triptych Studies of the Human Body, 1970, the three panels are set on an orange background, with the centre panel containing a mating couple on the top of a round grass-coloured bed.