Three Studies of Lucian Freud, 1969 marks the epic culmination of Francis Bacon’s relationship with fellow painter and chronicler of the human condition, Lucian Freud. Glowing in a palette of sunshine yellow and carried out in Bacon’s celebrated triptych format, the towering, life-size painting pulses with vitality. With each masterful sweep of the brush, Bacon has animated his friend, here restlessly repositioning himself, pivoting his raised foot, kneading his hands in his lap and rotating his head from canvas to canvas. Reincarnated in paint, we are invited to get up close and personal with Freud.
“When I was younger, I needed extreme subject matter for my paintings. Then, as I got older. I realized I had all the subjects I needed in my own life.”
Francis Outred, Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Europe and Martin Harrison, editor of the forthcoming Francis Bacon catalogue raisonné, discuss Francis Bacon’s iconic triptych, Three Studies of Lucian Freud to be offered in the upcoming Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening sale on 12 November 2013 in New York.
On November 12, Christie’s New York will offer Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud, one of the most iconic paintings by the artist, uniting two of the 20th Century’s greatest figurative painters at the apex of their relationship. This extremely rare triptych, which was exhibited in Bacon’s now renowned retrospective at the Grand Palais, Paris in 1971-72, has never been on the auction market before. The painting is poised to break the previous world auction record for the artist of $86 million achieved in 2008.
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