Bacon sets new art record at $142.4 mn: Christie's

13th November 2013, Comments 0 comments

A work by British painter Francis Bacon fetched $142.4 million at auction in New York on Tuesday, in a new world record for the most expensive piece of art ever sold.

"Three Studies of Lucian Freud" by the 20th century figurative artist was sold by Christie's after being offered at auction for the first time.

"The work was sold for $142,405,000, after six minutes of fierce bidding in the room and on the phone," Christie's said in a statement.

Hammered to an outburst of applause at the auction, it smashed the previous record of $119.9 million fetched by Edvard Munch's iconic "The Scream" by rival house Sotheby's in New York in May 2012.

"An historic moment," said auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen when bidding temporarily stalled at $126 million, having opened at $80 million.

The rare triptych, executed almost 25 years after Bacon and Freud met, is the most expensive single lot offered in the entire New York November auction season.

The identity of the buyer was not immediately revealed.

The previous record for a Bacon painting was $86 million in 2008.

Pre-sale, Christie's described the three studies work as "an icon of 20th century art" and said the auction was a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to acquire it.

© 2013 AFP

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