The picture of Francis Bacon “Portrait of a Dwarf” is magnificent for composition and psychological impact.
The dwarf with his congenital ugliness is portrayed less ugly than the beautiful aristocrats or religious and political figures in other Bacon paintings. Small, he sits on a high bar stool, hugging him with his feet; The comic nature of the scene is aggravated by the primitive stupid expression of the dwarf’s face. But this is just a protective mask of a little man before the cruelty of the world.
The mask hides much: there is hidden pain, obedience to crude ridicule, and the quiet dignity of a man who is not broken by fate. The face, as it were, is cut into two halves, which often symbolizes the duality of behavior or the personality as a whole. The dramatic nature of the plot is emphasized by striped draperies of oppressive ink color.