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Francis Bacon Triptych of Lucian Freud Sells for Record-Breaking $142 Million: VIDEO


Francis Bacon's triptych 'Three Studies of Lucian Freud' has sold for $142 million, the highest price ever paid for a painting at auction, the Guardian reports:

The 1969 triptych, never before offered at auction, had carried a pre-sale estimate of about $85m. In the end it easily eclipsed the $119.9m price of Edvard Munch's The Scream, achieved in May 2012 year at Sotheby's. The previous record for a Bacon work of art was $86.3m set in 2008.

The monumental painting depicts the Dublin-born painter's friend and fellow artist Lucian Freud on a chair, with a view from each side and one face-on. Christie's called it "a true masterpiece that marks Bacon and Freud's relationship" and their "creative and emotional kinship".

With bidding starting at a whopping $80m, it sold after a protracted bidding war both in the packed New York salesroom and via telephone. Christie's did not disclose the identity of the successful buyer.

Watch Christie's explain why the painting is so significant in a fascinating 4-minute featurette surrounding the sale, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. WTF?

    Posted by: bollox | Nov 13, 2013 8:20:36 AM

  2. Freud had a facial tumour?

    Posted by: tcw | Nov 13, 2013 8:40:12 AM

  3. Enter Bacon's work and you find a remarkable world, enter Freud's and you want to leave.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Nov 13, 2013 9:06:36 AM

  4. Check out the film "Love is the Devil" to see Daniel Craig as Bacon's lover George Dyer.

    Posted by: badlydrawnbear | Nov 13, 2013 10:20:09 AM

  5. bacon was brilliant.
    his caged screams can't be ignored.

    Posted by: woody | Nov 13, 2013 10:21:53 AM

  6. "Love is the Devil" was really good. Recommend it.

    Can you imagine the return on the investment for whomever sold that piece? Lordy!

    Posted by: AriesMatt | Nov 13, 2013 11:00:36 AM

  7. Well, remember that it's actually three paintings. So, the per picture price is a mere $47,000,000.

    Posted by: gr8guya | Nov 13, 2013 12:10:24 PM

  8. It's LUCIEN Freud, the painter and friend of Bacon. I ADORE Francis Bacon's work, but this price is obscene. It's a painting (well, three, as duly noted). Like the orange diamond that sold for $35,5 million — can't people think of more constructive ways to use their money? End of days.

    Posted by: tinkerbelle | Nov 13, 2013 1:28:26 PM

  9. @ Tinkerbelle, I somewhat agree with your viewpoint- a really good documentary I saw recently- BBC's The World's most Expensive Paintings- explains some of the rationale and passion behind people spending huge sums on art. Definitely recommend the doc- sometimes people buy as investments, insurance, or it's purely showing off or some type of status symbol. And then there are those who truly love the art, the unique vision of the artist and of which they've created.

    We all view the world in different ways- and process things differently. And Bacon's work highlights this for viewers. And, for those disparaging his work, if you watched the video, you would've seen his talent in the small details, the brushstroke and color application.

    Posted by: Scott | Nov 13, 2013 8:48:33 PM

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