Francis Bacon - Three Studies of Lucian Freud 1969

Francis Bacon Three Studies of Lucian Freud 1969

Three Studies of Lucian Freud 1969
198x147cm for each canvas; oil/canvas
Sold for: USD 142.4 million
Auction house: Christie's, New York
Sale date: 12 November 2013
Seller: Anonymous owner
Buyer: Elaine Wynn, ex-wife of Steve Wynn

In Three Studies of Lucian Freud, Bacon has combined with characteristic alacrity, a vital human form with a precise description of the architecture of space, and explosive, stochastic outbursts of thick texture. One of the greatest artistic friendships and rivalries of the twentieth century, the trajectory of their relationship over nearly half a century, from the moment of their introduction through Graham Sutherland in early 1945, goaded each man to greater levels of excellence in the field of figurative painting. Painter to painter, their practices impacted one another, as did their characters: Bacon finding a compliment to his own charismatic but capricious nature in Freud's confident and considered manner. Just as Freud's intimate portrait of Bacon painted in 1952, tragically stolen from the Tate collection while on display in Berlin in 1988, stands as one of the artist's greatest achievements, so Three Studies of Lucian Freud an be understood to be one of Bacon's greatest masterpieces.