A PAINTING by Dublin artist Francis Bacon has sold for a world-record price at an auction in New York.
The Three Studies of Lucian Freud was bought for $US142.4m (€105.9m), with bidding opening at $US80 million (€59.53m).
Auction house Christie's said: "It was sold after six minutes of fierce bidding in the room and on the phone."
The sum is around $US22m more than the price agreed for Edvard Munch's The Scream last May.
A number of potential buyers visited the room to view Bacon's work, but the identity of the owner may never be known as Christie's has kept them anonymous.
Bacon's three-paneled piece depicts his friend and fellow artist Lucian Freud sitting on a chair.
It was described as "a masterpiece that marks Bacon and Freud's relationship" and their "creative kinship". "This (is a) very important conversation between two masters," said Francis Outred, head of European postwar and contemporary art at Christie's.
The record price is more than double that of Bacon's second most expensive piece of artwork. Triptych, 1976, was bought for £43m in 2008 by Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich at an auction by Sotheby's in New York.