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Francis Bacon, Gerhard Richter works bring in millions at auction

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Francis Bacon, the late British artist whose paintings habitually bring big bucks at auction, didn’t disappoint this week when his 1963 ‘Portrait of Henrietta Moraes’ sold for an impressive $33.2 million.

The sale was part of a Christie’s auction of contemporary art in London. Gerhard Richter’s painting ‘Abstraktes Bild’ (1994) sold at the same auction for approximately $15.6 million.

Bacon’s ‘Portrait of Henrietta Moraes’ is a sort-of nude depiction of the British model who was famous in the mid-20th century for serving as the artistic muse for Bacon, Lucian Freud and others. (In the painting, her nude body is partially concealed by a green serpent-like figure.)

The sale isn’t a record for a Bacon painting. That distinction still belongs to one of his ‘Triptych’ works that sold in 2008 for $86.3 million.

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The seller of ‘Henrietta’ was Sheldon Solow, the New York real estate developer and art collector, according to Bloomberg. The buyer was identified only as a telephone bidder.

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-- David Ng


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