Francis Bacon’s painting fetches record USD 142m at auction
New York: An iconic 1969 painting by artist Francis Bacon has fetched a whopping USD 142 million, setting a world record for the most expensive work of art ever sold at an auction.
"Three Studies of Lucian Freud", which hit the auction block for the first time, sold for USD 142,405,000 at Christie's in New York, yesterday.
The price is much higher than the USD 119.9 million fetched by Edvard Munch's "The Scream," which set a world record at Sotheby's New York last year.
The amount also surpassed the highest price ever paid for a Bacon painting – held by a triptych which sold for USD 86 million in 2008.
"Three Studies of Lucian Freud" is an extremely rare triptych which depicts Bacon's friend and fellow artist Lucian Freud sitting on a chair.
The masterpiece was made in 1969 when the relationship between Freud and Bacon was at its apex and would only grow more distant throughout the 1970s.
The painting was part of Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art evening sale which achieved USD 691,583,000, the highest total for an auction sale in art market history.
Bidders vied for works by some of the century's most inspiring and influential artists: Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Lucio Fontana, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons, Christopher Wool, Roy Lichtenstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Jeff Koons's sculpture "Balloon Dog" fetched USD 58.4 million, a record for any piece of art sold at auction by a living artist, CNN reported.
The sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art broke 10 auction records with three pieces sold for more than USD 50 million, 11 for over USD 20 million and 16 for over USD 10 million, the auction house said.