I was shocked and disappointed to read John Bentley Mays’s review of a book and an exhibition on the work of Francis Bacon (An Artist To Savour Or Savage – July 8). How can an art critic claim any credibility when he writes that some works by an artist “should never have been painted” or that, being painted, they “should never be displayed”? Mr. Mays goes on to explain his reasons, but they provide no consolation: some of Bacon’s works, just as some of Robert Mapplethorpe’s, are a “coldly detached, merciless representation of ordinary flesh, desire, suffering.” That sounds like pretty exciting art to me, something that could touch or challenge the spirit more intensely than lame pictures of lovely trees or nicely dressed people could.