He was the second son of the lithographer John Cardanall Bacon, and showed artistic talent from a young age. He trained at the Westminster School of Art and the Royal Academy in London. In his teens he acquired a reputation as an outstanding Black and White illustrator, and at the age of 18 set off on a professional tour of India and Burma.
On his return to England, in 1889, Bacon exhibited "The Village Green" and "Nevermore" at the Royal Academy and was a regular exhibitor from then on. He was a successful painter of religious works, such as "Peace be unto you" (1897), Gethsemane (1899); historical scenes, such as "Homage giving, Westminster Abbey" (for the coronation of Edward VII), "The Coronation ceremony of George V" (1911), "The City of London Imperial Volunteers Return to London from South Africa on Monday 29th October 1900"; as well as portraiture and genre scenes - such as "A Wedding Morning" (1892) "A Confession of Love" (1894), Rivals (1904) etc. He was an Associate of the Royal Academy (ARA) and was awarded the MVO (Member of the Royal Victorian Order) for distinguished service to the King. Bacon illustrated books as well as magazines and periodicals.