Bacon’s work has always attracted us and he will always leave a long lasting love in the mind, not always for the subject but more for the delivery – Deskarati
A painting by Francis Bacon of his friend and fellow artist Lucian Freud has sold at auction for £23m ($37m) – three times the pre-sale estimate. The triptych, Three Studies For A Portrait Of Lucian Freud, went to an anonymous buyer at Sotheby’s in London. Cheyenne Westphal, from Sotheby’s, said it was “an artwork that radiates ‘wall-power'”.
The sale also saw a Salvador Dali (another Deskarati favourite) painting reach £13.5m – a new record for any Surrealist work at auction. The price for Portrait de Paul Eluard smashes the previous record for Dali of £4.1m, which was set in London just 24 hours earlier.
Bacon and Freud met in 1945 and became close companions, painting each other on a number of occasions.
Three Studies For A Portrait Of Lucian Freud has been kept in private since shortly after its completion in 1965. It was expected to sell for between £7m and £9m, but when it came up for auction on Thursday the price was driven up by more than 10 competing bidders from four continents. It eventually went for a £23,001,250, including the buyer’s premium.