In a month that has seen several multimillion art sales, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud’s work, Three Studies For A Portrait Of Lucian Freud sold for three times its estimate and went to a private bidder for £23million.
The auction, at Sotheby’s in London, also saw a Salvedor Dali painting, called Portrait de Paul Eluard sell for £13.5million, smashing the previous surrealist record of £4.1million.
The Bacon and Freud piece was created after the pair met in 1945 and began a close friendship, which saw them paint each other many times.
Sotheby’s Cheyenne Westphal said it was “an artwork that radiates ‘wall-power’”.
The painting has been kept in private since it was painted in 1965, and caused a bidding war between 10 bidders across four continents.
Chairman of Contemporary Art Europe at Sotheby’s, Ms Westphal said, “This striking painting has everything a collector in the current market is looking for.
“It is an artwork that radiates ‘wall-power’ with its brilliant colour and dramatic brushstrokes.
“It narrates one of the most impressive artistic relationships of the 20th Century between two titans of British art and is desirably fresh to the market having remained in the same collection for almost half a century.”
Would you pay that much for a painting?