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

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jul 01, 2020, 04:34 PM(IST)

Francis Bacon's triptych auctioned for $84 million at Sotheby's via live stream Photograph:( Twitter )

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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