Saturday 10 December 2016

Masterpiece by Bacon could fetch up to €27m

Kate Ferguson in London

Published 18/03/2016 | 07:00

A Sothebys employee with Two Studies For A Self-Portrait by Francis Bacon
A Sothebys employee with Two Studies For A Self-Portrait by Francis Bacon

A RARELY seen self-portrait by Irish artist Francis Bacon is expected to fetch up to €27m when it goes under the hammer later this year.

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Widely acknowledged as the finest self-portrayal Bacon ever produced, Two Studies For A Self-Portrait has been hailed by experts as a "masterpiece".

Bacon is widely regarded as one of the finest painters of the 20th century and is best known for capturing the tortured psychological depths of human existence in his portraits.

In stark contrast, Two Studies For A Self-Portrait, painted in 1970, exudes positivity.

It depicts an elated Bacon on the cusp of his career-defining retrospective at the Grand Palais in 1971 and in the throes of his relationship with George Dyer, whose suicide a year later was to haunt Bacon and shape his art for decades to come.

It is expected to fetch between €19m and €27m when it is auctioned at Sotheby's Evening Auction of Contemporary Art in New York on May 11.

The piece has remained in the same private collection since soon after it was painted more than 45 years ago and is little known to the public eye.

Irish Independent

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