Francis Bacon's triptych auctioned for $84 million at Sotheby's via live stream

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Jul 01, 2020, 04:44 PM IST


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The painting exceeded pre-sale estimates of between $60 million and $80 million.

Francis Bacon's triptych painting has been sold for $84 million during a virtual auction at the Sotheby's. For the first time, the Sotheby's had to hold an auction via live stream and without an audience due to coronavirus pandemic. 

Bacon painted this triptych between 1962 and 1991 and it is said to be inspired by the 'Oresteia of Aeschylus'. The art-work received telephone bids from  New York and Hong Kong. 

The painting exceeded pre-sale estimates of between $60 million and $80 million.

Sotheby's spring auction normally generates billions of dollars but due to coronavirus pandemic hitting hard in New York, the company decided to conduct the event via stream a series of modern and contemporary art sales from London.


Sotheby's Europe chairman, Oliver Barker dubbed the event as "as historic evening" and first of its kind to be held without an audience. 

A bidding war raged for Bacon's artwork. It went on for around 10 minutes between one potential buyer placing bids online from China, and another - who was victorious but chose to remain anonymous - making counter-offers on the phone to a Sotheby's specialist in New York.

In 2013, another Bacon triptych, "Three Studies of Lucian Freud," sold for $142.4 million at Christie's in New York.

Online bids for other paintings rarely exceeded $5 million, Jean-Michel Basquiat's drawing of a head, "Untitled (Head)" sold for $15.2 million on Monday - a new Sotheby's record for an online purchase - and a painting by Joan Mitchell, "Garden Party," went for $7.9 million.

Sotheby's event brought in a total of $363.2 million, the auction house said.