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Art auction: Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud’s turbulent friendship token will be sold for $42 million

A portrait of Lucian Freud by the famous artist Francis Bacon is going to be auctioned. It is expected to fetch over £35m or $42m. An intriguing aspect of the portrait is its 57-year absence from public view since its first exhibition, reports Guardian. Bacon is best known for his passionate, gritty, and dark depictions of the human condition. The 1964 painting depicts Freud seated on a hard bench, arms outstretched and fists clenched, bare chest exposed, and monstrous, disfigured face.

Bacon’s rigorous study of human anatomy also impacted his art, creating paintings that seem to cover anatomical diagrams and superimpose portraits. The 1964 painting captures a moment in the friendship between Bacon and Lucian Freud.

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Tom Eddison, senior director of contemporary art at Sotheby’s, told EuroNews ‘what we have here really are the two titans of British art of the past 100 years, Bacon and Freud, entwined in this single canvas’ .

“Now Bacon and Freud had known each other since about the mid-1940s, thanks to an introduction by Graham Sutherland…So what we see here, 20 years later, is the culmination of a budding relationship, a friendship, an artistic rivalry terms.”

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The piece, which has spent the past 40 years in the same private collection, will go on public display June 23-29 at Sotheby’s Galleries in London’s New Bond Street.

On June 29, it will be auctioned as part of the British Art: The Jubilee Season sale. Other pieces in the auction include David Hockney’s nearly 4 meter wide painting of Woldgate Woods and Banksy’s photo of Winston Churchill holding a lime green Mohican, pieces by Andy Warhol and Claude Monet .

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 6:48pm on Sunday July 3rd, 2022