Largely self-trained, Francis Bacon became one of the most esteemed and important painters of the twentieth century. He steadfastly maintained the supreme importance of the human figure in painting by his refusal to yield to the hegemony of non-representation sustained by the abstract expressionists, his contemporaries. Still, many elements of his work such as the sensual style of his painting, flat color use, form and composition show striking similarities to abstract expressionist conventions. As was typical, Bacon, was generally hesitant to own any debt to outside influences. At the time of his death in 1991 his stature in Britain alone was iconic. Still, despite his phenomenal success he was an avowedly desolate and tortured man as is evident in the confining and hopeless terror in so many of his works.