This Francis Bacon Portrait Just Sold For $52.8 Million

The iconic portrait just set a new record.

Francis Bacon’s portrait of Lucian Freud has sold for a record-breaking price – $52.8 million, to be exact!

According to Penta, this is the highest price a single-panel Bacon painting has sold for. It was originally predicted that it would sell for $42.2 million, though it ended up earning much more.

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The most Bacon’s artwork has sold for is $142 million, when his three-panel portrait Three Studies of Lucian Freud sold during a New York Christie’s Auction in 2013.

The recently sold painting, known formally as Study for Portrait of Lucian Freud, was sold by Sotheby’s London in an auction titled British Art: The Jubilee Auction. The Bacon painting, create din 1964, was one of the most high-profile pieces in the collection.

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There we see a portrait that pulsates with an intensity, a tension that mirrors the emotions which bonded these two sparring partners together for over four decades,” Tom Eddison, the senior director of contemporary art of Sotheby’s, explained of the portrait.

Prior to hitting the auction block, the portrait was part of the same European collection for over four decades. The collector’s identity has not been revealed. The portrait was last on display in the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art in Dublin in 1965, and it hasn’t been viewed by the public since.

It’s unclear who the new buyer is, and what they plan to do with the iconic artwork.

The auction began on June 29th, though it didn’t take long for the portrait to find a buyer. Other notable artwork for sale during the auction included David Hockney’s Woldgate Woods II (created in 2006), and Banksy’s Turf War, a portrait of Winston Churchill.

Bacon and Freud were close friends during their lifetimes. They met in 1944 and were noticeably close during the ‘50s and ‘60s, with Freud a recurring feature in the artist’s work. However, rumor has it that the pair’s relationship became strained when Freud developed jealousy over Bacon’s international success.

People are still paying a pretty penny for artwork nowadays. In April, one of Andy Warhol’s portraits of Marilyn Monroe sold for $195 million, though it was originally expected to fetch over $200 million. Earlier in the year, Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh paintings were put on the auction block by Sotheby and expected to sell for $47 million.


It’s not just historic artowkr selling for record-high prices. Digital art in the form of NFTs has also been selling for millions at a time, like the “Charlie Bit My Finger” meme, which sold for nearly $1 million in May.

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Sources: Penta, Barrons,

Usher Spoils L.A. Reid With A Porsche 911 For His B-Day

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