Monday, May 4, 2015

This is what a $142 million work of art looks like

Someone has purchased a painting for $142 million. I'll repeat that again for posterity's sake because that figure seems ridiculous, at first.

This is what a $142 million work of art looks like

AP

Someone has purchased a painting for $142 million. I'll repeat that again for posterity's sake because that figure seems ridiculous.

Someone has purchased a painting for $142 million.

It's a Francis Bacon triptych from 1969 called, "Three Studies of Lucian Freud."

The price for the painting, which depicts Lucian Freud, Bacon’s friend and rival, perched on a wooden chair, was more than the $85 million Christie’s had estimated. It also toppled the previous record set in May 2012 when Edvard Munch’s fabled pastel of “The Scream” sold at Sotheby’s for $119.9 million and broke the previous record for the artist at auction set at the peak of the market in May 2008, when Sotheby’s sold a triptych from 1976 to the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich for $86.2 million.

When the bidding for “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” finally stopped, after more than 10 fraught minutes, the overflowing crowd in the salesroom burst into applause. Two disappointed bidders could be seen leaving the room. “I went to $101 million but it hardly mattered,” said Larry Gagosian, the super-dealer who was trying to buy the painting on behalf of a client. Another contender was Hong Gyu Shin, the director of the Shin Gallery on Grand Street in Manhattan, who said he was bidding for himself.

Actually, the final price was $142.4 million. To put that in perspective, the most expensive home in the country was listed at $140 million and that came with 12 bedrooms, 4,000 feet of water frontage, two offshore islands, a grass tennis court, an apple orchard, and a partridge in a pear tree.

For $142 million, you could purchase 35 Super Bowl commercials.

William Acquavella, a New York art dealer, is believed to have purchased the 1969 Francis Bacon triptych for an unidentified client. [New York Times]

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