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    The auction room during the sale.

    The auction room during the sale. (See posts on for February 6 and January 17, 2016)

    Pregnant Girl,  Lucian Freud’s portrait of his then 17 year old Irish lover Bernadine Coverly pregnant with their daughter Bella, sold for £16.1 million at Sotheby’s in London last night. Dated 1960-61 it was a record price for an early painting by the artist.  The work had been in the same collection for more than 30 years.  It was the top lot in a sale of contemporary art which brought in £69.5 million. There were auction records for Alberto Burri and Adrian Ghenie.  Burri’s Sacco e Rosso made £9.1 million and Ghenie’s 2014 work, Sunflowers in 1937, soared to £3.1 million.

    Alex Branczik, head of Contemporary Art, London said afterwards:  “Tonight we saw a confident art market, punctuated by some real high-points and a depth of bidding. There was much debate about the market ahead of the sale, but in spite of the broader economy, tonight proved that collectors will always compete for works of outstanding quality and rarity.”

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