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    Bacon’s Self-Portrait triptych makes £13,761,250. (Click on image to enlarge).

    Francis Bacon’s intimate self-portrait triptych Three Studies for a Self-Portrait sold for £13,761,250 at Sotheby’s London evening auction of Contemporary art tonight.  The top lot in the auction had been estimated at £10-15 million.  The three extraordinary portraits were painted nine years following the suicide of Bacon’s closest companion, George Dyer and collectively represent a life’s worth of retrospect coupled with searing self-analysis. Demonstrating the profound reflection that accompanied Bacon’s entry into old age, this self-portrait preserves the penultimate depiction of the artist’s likeness in this unflinching, intimate triptych format.  It was bought by  German collector, Jurgen Hall who intends to place it on loan to a major international institution.”

    The scene at Sotheby’s during the auction.

    Cheyenne Westphal of Sotheby’s said: “We are extremely pleased with the price achieved tonight for this sublime self-portrait triptych by Francis Bacon. Works of this quality and wall-power continue to attract a truly global spread of bidders. ‘Three Studies for a Self-Portrait’ is a quintessential example of how Bacon distilled the great depths of his emotion in a very particular small-format triptych, which are so sought after by discerning collectors.”

    The auction brought in  £74,364,200, within the estimate of £61.2-84.5 million.  This is the second highest total for a February contemporary sale at Sotheby’s in London.  There were artists records for Adrian Ghenie, Hurvin Anderson and Giuseppe Penone. Buyers came from 14 countries and 14 works sold for over £1 million.

    (See post on for January 9, 2013).

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