“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 Bacon
The Portland Art Museum has just announced that they will be exhibiting Francis Bacon’s triptych Three Studies of Lucian Freud (1969) from December 21st through March 30th.
Acquired by an anonymous private collector for $142.4 million at Christie's in November, this is one of only two existing triptychs of Sigmund Freud's grandson, Lucian Freud, and arguably one of Bacon's most important paintings.
Beyond it's aesthetic value, Three Studies is receiving widespread media attention due the market price it achieved. The press is lauding this Bacon as the most expensive work ever sold at auction, exceeding the previous 2012 record of Edvard Munch's The Scream for $119.9 million, however this is not entirely accurate. In 1990, Christie's sold Vincent Van Gogh's Portrait of Dr. Gachet for $82.5 million, which translates to about $149.5 million in 2013 dollars.
The current record on the private market for a work of art is Paul Cézanne’s The Card Players, which sold in 2011 for $250 million to Qatar’s royal family.
The fourth installment of the Portland Museum of Art's ongoing series MASTERWORKS I Portland, the Bacon will be on view from December 21st - March 30th.