In the fourth programme, on publicity and advertising, Berger argues that colour photography has taken over the role of oil paint, though the context is reversed. An idealised potential for the viewer (via consumption) is considered a substitution for the actual reality depicted in old master portraits.
-- "In no other form of society in history has there been such a concentration of images, such a density of visual messages.....[P]ublicity as a system only makes a single proposal. It proposes to each of us that we transform ourselves, or our lives, by buying something more.....Publicity persuades us of such a transformation by showing us people who have apparently been transformed and are, as a result, enviable." -- Quotes from the book Ways of Seeing.
Francis Bacon (28 October 1909 – 28 April 1992) was an Anglo-Irish figurative painter known for his bold, austere, graphic and emotionally raw imagery. Bacon's painterly but abstract figures typically appear isolated in glass or steel geometrical cages set against flat, nondescript backgrounds. He began painting during his early 20s and worked only sporadically until his mid 30s. Before this time he drifted, earning his living as an interior decorator and designer of furniture and rugs. Later, he admitted that his career was delayed because he had spent too long looking for a subject that would sustain his interest. His breakthrough came with the 1944 triptych Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, and it was this work and his heads and figures of the late 1940s through to the emid 1950s that sealed his reputation as a notably bleak, chronicler of the human condition.