A SPECIAL exhibition at the Ashmolean has become the third most popular in the museum’s history.

More than 36,000 visitors have flocked to see Flesh and Bone, an exhibition of the work of Francis Bacon and Henry Moore.

It opened on September 12 at the Beaumont Street museum and closes this Sunday.

But due to popular demand the museum is opening late on Friday and Saturday – until 8pm rather than its usual 5pm closing time.

The Oxford Times:

  • Lis Lovett

The museum’s visitor service assistant Lis Lovett said: “It has been fantastic to see the galleries filled with so many enthusiastic visitors really engaging with this exhibition.

“On countless occasions, visitors have come up to me and said how much they have enjoyed seeing such a brilliantly curated show.”

The most visited exhibition at the Ashmolean was the Heracles to Alexander the Great showing in 2011 with 45,000 visitors.

The Pre-Raphaelites and Italy exhibition attracted 39,000 visitors.

However, with five days to go, museum staff think Flesh and Bone could beat that to become the Ashmolean’s second most popular exhibition.

The exhibition displays the work of two of the greatest 20th Century artists.

A total of 20 paintings by Francis Bacon alongside 20 sculptures and drawings by Henry Moore are on show.

It is the first joint exhibition of the two artists for half a century.

The works have been borrowed from public and private collections.

The pieces were selected by Martin Harrison, editor of the Francis Bacon catalogue, and Richard Calvocoressi, director of The Henry Moore Foundation.