I recently visited Paris and took the opportunity to see the Francis Bacon exhibition at the Centre Pompidou. Titled Books and Paintings, it looks at how literary figures like TS Eliot, Joseph Conrad and Nietzsche shaped the painter’s work.

The Irish-born painter’s list of artistic influences is wide ranging, from Velázquez’s dark imagery to Picasso’s fragmented perspectives. However, it is literature that possibly had the most profound influence on Bacon’s art.