Bacon’s centre panel from the 1981 lithograph series of 'Three Studies of the Human Body' is a classic example of the British artist’s powerful and often disturbingly original style. The triptych form allowed Bacon to engage with the human figure without necessarily entering a conventional storytelling format.
What is more, Bacon intended his triptychs to be split: never in the same frame, each work was independent. The narrative aspect of the panel thus derives from its separateness. 'Three Studies of the Human Body' is also a comment on the principle that nature is completely random, and based on chance.
As also suggested by Milan Kundera, author of 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being', Bacon’s idea was that the shape of the human body was a mere accident: it could have had three legs, or a variety of different shapes, hence its distortion.