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Painted entirely in shades of white, charcoal, and steel gray, a slim, white, almost ghostly dog makes its way from our left to right with its snout held low, along a sidewalk or rails in this vertical composition. The dog is thinly painted and blurry, as if shown in action, so the details are difficult to make out. The dark, gray space is defined only by three diagonals running from the center of the left edge down into the lower right corner. Within the band made by the lower two diagonals, two parallel sets of curving, parallel lines suggest grates or gutters over storm drains. Seeming unrelated to the rest of the image, three faint, gray, ruled lines radiate upward from a point near the lower-left corner to intersect the lowermost border defining the gutter.

Francis Bacon, Study for a Running Dog, c. 1954, oil on canvas, Given in memory of Charles Edward Rhetts by his wife and children, 1976.7.1

The Art of Looking

Francis Bacon, Study for a Running Dog

  • Friday, October 21, 2022
  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Registration Required
  • Virtual Program

In the spirit of Halloween, Francis Bacon's Study for a Running Dog is the inspiration for this interactive conversation. Join us and share your observations, interpretations, questions, and ideas, and build on your own first impressions to broaden your understanding of this work of art.

This session lasts one hour and is completely interactive. National Gallery educators will facilitate the conversation to create an environment for shared learning. These conversations will encourage you to engage deeply with art, with others, and with the world around you as you hone skills in visual literacy and perspective-taking.

This program is free and open to the public and is designed for anyone interested in talking about art. No art or art history background is required. Ages 18 and over.

Due to the interactive nature of this program, sessions are not recorded.

Live Captions

Live captions (CART) are available in some breakout rooms for this program. Please contact [email protected] to request access or for more information.