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“Historical” evening for the auction of a triptych by Francis Bacon

It is a historic first and evening. A triptych by Francis Bacon sold for $ 84.6 million during the auctions held Monday June 29 at Sotheby’s, the first major sales entirely at a distance, with no physically present audience, due to the pandemic. This triptych inspired by the Orestie d’Eschyle – one of the 28 large format triptychs painted by Bacon between 1962 and 1991 – was the star of an evening described as “historic” by the president of Sotheby’s Europe, Oliver Barker , host from London of these auctions adapted to the era of the coronavirus.

Hitherto owned by the Norwegian collector Hans Rasmus Astrup since 1984, the work had been estimated between 60 and 80 million dollars. It was acquired after ten minutes of battle between a buyer bidding directly online from China, and another by telephone link with a specialist from Sotheby’s in New York. It was the latter, who remained anonymous, who finally won.

Millions for online purchases

Another Bacon triptych, “Three Studies by Lucian Freud”, sold for $ 142.4 million in 2013 at Christie’s in New York, ranking it among the 10 most expensive paintings ever sold at auction. Pending the big sales of Christie’s, scheduled for them on July 10, sales of Sotheby’s – passed under the control of the Franco-Israeli businessman Patrick Drahi at the end of 2019 – seem to indicate that, helping the pandemic, some people no longer hesitate to make millions for online art purchases.

>> Read also – The Ritz puts its treasures up for auction

While online auctions rarely exceed $ 5 million so far, a painting by Joan Mitchell, “Garden Party”, went for $ 7.9 million, and the drawing of a head by Jean-Michel Basquiat , “Untitled (Head)” left for 15.2 million, new record for an online purchase at Sotheby’s. Due to the pandemic, the two world leaders

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