Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Papal painting goes for £14 Million

"A 50-year-old painting of a pope by Francis Bacon set an auction record for his work when it was sold at Christie’s for £14 million. Study For Portrait II, an oil on canvas work painted in late 1956, is one of Bacon’s famed papal portraits. It smashed the previous record of £7.8 million set in November at Sotheby’s in New York for Version No. 2 of Lying Figure With Hypodermic Syringe.

The buyer was identified as Andrew Fabricant, a leading New York dealer.

Bacon produced more than 50 paintings of popes, beginning in 1946, and was obsessed by Diego Velazquez’s 1650 Portrait of Pope Innocent X. Unlike his more dramatic“ screaming Popes” from the early 1950s, Bacon’s 1956 work is a more sympathetic image of the pope as a tragic hero. "

For full story see The Times here.