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    Monday, September 12th, 2011

    Boy's Head by Lucien Freud. It made £3,177,250.

    Boy’s Head dating from 1952 by Lucian Freud (1922-2011) will headline Sotheby’s Contempoary Art evening auction in London on October 13.  The work, from a seminal early period of the artist’s oeuvre, depicts Charlie Lumley, one of Freud’s most immediately recognisable subjects.

    An oil on canvas, it transmits a remarkable psychological intensity.  From a private collection it is estimated to make £3-4 million.

    UPDATE:  It made £3,177,250.


    Thursday, April 28th, 2011

    Lucian Freud and Brendan Behan, Dublin 1952 (click to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS MADE 850

    Bill Brandt's 1947 image of the northern quays, Dublin. (click to enlarge) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Three centuries of period furniture, fine art, garden statuary, seating and planters feature at Sheppards three day sale of outstanding interiors and exteriors  on May 10, 11 and 12 at Durrow, Co. Laois.
    The sale on Thursday, May 12 is of 300 lots of Asian art.
    Photographic rarities on offer include this image by Daniel Farson of the artist Lucian Freud and the writer Brendan Behan in front of the Mansion House in Dublin.  Dated August 1952 the print is signed and stamped.  It is estimated at 800-1,200.
    The second image is of the northern quays, Dublin circa 1947.  The silver gelatin print is a view from the Ha’penny Bridge extending west towards the Four Courts.  It is estimated at 1,200-1,600.
    It is one of two Dublin photographs taken by Bill Brandt in Dublin on offer at Sheppards on May 10.  Brandt’s work is to be found in museums like the Victoria and Albert in London, MoMA in New York and the Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris.  The second image by Brandt is of the now deconsecrated St. George’s Church at Hardwicke Place designed by Francis Johnson.  Johnson donated the bells of St. George’s which are heard chiming by Leopold Bloom in James Joyce’s Ulysses.


    Thursday, March 31st, 2011

    Woman Smiling, 1958-59, by Lucian Freud, the only single portrait of Suzy Boyt who was to mother five of the artist’s children, will be sold by Christie’s in London in June.  The auction house say it is the most significant work by Freud to be offered at auction since Benefits Supervisor Sleeping sold at Christie’s New York in May 2008 for $33.6 million – a world record price for a work by a living artist.
    Woman Smiling, is a tender portrait of Freud’s former prize-winning Slade pupil and lover. Their friendship lasted many decades. She appears sitting with bashful eyes, radiating with a youthful smile and projecting the affection that existed between the artist and sitter. As Lucian Freud once said,  ‘Painters who use life itself as their subject-matter…do so in order to translate life into art almost literally, as it were…The painter makes real to others his innermost feelings about all that he cares for’ (L. Freud, ‘Some Thoughts on Painting’ Encounter, July 1954).
    Formerly in the collection of Mrs. Ian Fleming it is being offered as part of an important European private collection where it has been since 1985.  The wife of the James Bond creator was an important early patron of Freud and subject of his paintings. She was the first owner and the seller of Woman Smiling when it last appeared at auction at Christie’s in 1973, selling for £5,040.  Suzy Boyt’s other appearance in a Freud painting is as a character on the right hand side of Interior W11 (After Watteay) painted in the early 1980’s.
    Francis Outred, Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe said Woman Smiling pioneered the style of painting for which Freud is most praised and recognised, using thick, expressionist brushstrokes and swathes of impasto to build a human physicality.  The work is estimated at £3.5 million to £4.5 million.
    At the sale on June 28 Christie’s will offer five drawings by Freud from the collection of Kay Saatchi.
    UPDATE: IT MADE £4,745,250


    Saturday, February 5th, 2011

    Bacon's study for a portrait of Lucian Freud (click on images to enlarge)

    Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for a portrait of Lucian Freud features at a sale at Sotheby’s on February 10.  On offer is an exceptional private collection of 60 European modern and contemporary works collected over 30 years.  Along with the Bacon (estimated at £7-9 million) it includes work by Salvador Dalí, Amedeo Modigliani, Alberto Giacometti, Marc Chagall, Joan Miró, Lucian Freud, Alexander Calder and Eduardo Chillida.
    UPDATE: The Bacon headlined Sotheby’s Evening Auction ‘Looking Closely – A Private Collection’. Three Studies for a Portrait of Lucian Freud, made the outstanding sum of £23,001,250/$37,004,411triple the pre-sale estimate. More than ten bidders from four continents competed for this exceptional and intimate artwork, before it finally sold after 7 minutes to an anonymous buyer in the room.