Bringing home the Bacon: Art sells for record USD142 million

Nov 14, 2013, 06:10 IST | Agencies

A work by late painter Francis Bacon set a new world record for the most expensive painting ever auctioned off, when it sold on Tuesday at Christie's auction house in Manhattan for $142.4 million (Rs 901 crore)

The artist’s iconic 1969 triptych Three Studies of Lucien Freud reached the record-breaking price after six minutes of fierce bidding. The sale shattered the old record of $119 million, which was set by Edvard Munch’s The Scream, which sold at Sotheby’s last year.

New record: The triptych Three Studies of Lucien Freud is an image of Lucien Freud sitting on a wooden chair in different positions. Pic/AFP

“This is the most important painting to come to auction for a generation,” Christie’s postwar-art director Francis Outred said.

“It’s not just one of Bacon’s greatest triptychs, it’s also a very careful study of one of his best friends and a painter who would come to rival him as one of the greatest figurative painters of the 20th century.”

Bacon’s three-part work is an image of fellow painter Lucien Freud -- grandson of Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud -- sitting on a wooden chair in different positions.

The six-foot-high piece was separated for a time until a collector in Rome spent 20 years bringing the masterpiece back together by tracking down sections in Paris and Japan.

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