Francis Bacon’s Study for a Portrait Fetched $28M at Auction
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A couple of days ago, a sweepingly expensive Francis Bacon sold for £7 million…more than the initial estimated price of £11 million. After a simple mathematical calculation, we find that the remarkable “Study for a Portrait” went for a whopping £18 million, which translates to approximately $28 million.
The gloomy picture was painted in 1953, during a sad period in the artist’s life. Jessie Lightfoot, his former nanny and companion, had died causing him to spend a lot of time in his studio and create some really dark and gloomy paintings. Even though a sad time for the artist, this period in his life was one of his most prolific.
Previously owned by two contemporaries of Bacon (Louis Le Brocquy and Rodrigo Moynihan), the painting measures 2 meters by 1.4 meters and has been described as “an arresting and dark study in the degradation of power”. Who the portrait represents is still a mystery today.
Other notable works at the event – Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art sale – were Andy Warhol’s portrait of “Chairman Mao”, which fetched £7 million ($11 million) and Peter Doig’s “Red Boat (Imaginary Boys)”, which sold for £6 million ($10 million).