That community is itself figured
by another familiar feminist figure, that of the African-American preacher and former slave Sojourner Truth.
Instead of singular characters who change and make choices, they are "intended iconographically," figured
in accordance with the categories made visible in the costume books.(116) Like miniaturized "walking ideas," the agents are "frozen into an eternally fixed form."(117) A kind of synecdochal relationship as Quintilian defines it, the women are depicted as if a species to the genus as a whole.(118)
This defensiveness is understandable enough in the heady days of Abstract Expressionism (which Bacon ostensibly hated but which obviously exerted a certain seductive power on his formal language), an era when "illustration" and "decoration" figured
as the two sides of artistic failure.