Bacon and Brueghel lead sales
A PAINTING by Irish-born artist Francis Bacon sold for £21.5 million (€26.9 million at Christie’s in London on Wednesday evening. Study for Self-Portrait (1964) was bought by New York art dealer Christophe Van de Weghe, who told Bloomberg he was “bidding for an international financier who lives in a plane”.
At Sotheby’s the previous evening, a much smaller painting by Bacon also, confusingly titled Study for Self-Portrait – this one dated 1980 – made £4.5 million.
Among other sales, at Christie’s one of the so-called “sponge paintings” by Yves Klein, Le Rose du bleu (RE 22) sold for £23.5 million – a world record price for any French post-war artist at auction; and, a stainless steel sculpture of an Easter egg by American artist Jeff Koons, Baroque Egg with Bow (Blue/Turquoise) sold for £2.5 million.
The spending spree looks set to continue next week. On Tuesday, Christie’s expects up to £25 million for The Lock by John Constable (1776-1837), one of England’s greatest artists who is best-known for the The Hay Wain, now in The National Gallery, London.
Meanwhile fans of Old Master paintings are strongly recommended to view the online catalogue (also available as an iPad app) for next Wednesday’s auction at Sotheby’s, which features quite stunning and utterly enthralling images of Pieter Brueghel the Younger’s The Battle between Carnival and Lent and Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Feilitzsch Altarpiece. Both are estimated to sell for between £4 million- £6 million and can be viewed at sothebys.com)