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Friday 23 March 2018

Self-portraits to fetch $20m as demand for Bacon sizzles

Scott Reyburn in London

A trio of self-portraits by Francis Bacon are expected to raise at least $20m (€13.8m) at auction as demand grows for Ireland's most expensive artist.

'Three Studies for Self Portrait', from 1974, are included in Christie's International's May 11 New York auction of contemporary art. They are part of a London show, opening today, that also includes Bacon's 1952 painting, 'Untitled (Crouching Nude on Rail)', estimated at up to $15m (€10.3m) in the same sale.

Owners of high-value paintings by the Dublin-born artist, who died in Madrid in 1993, are more confident about selling at auction after the 1964 triptych, 'Three Studies for a Portrait of Lucian Freud', fetched £23m (€25.9m) at Sotheby's in London in February.

"That result helped bring Bacons out of the woodwork," London-based dealer Offer Waterman said. "Up until then the market had been in a state of flux. Prices had dropped, and people found it difficult to value his paintings."

The works are on show until Tuesday at Christie's.

Irish Independent

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