Francis Bacon 'George Dyer Talking' portrait sells for £42.2m to set European record
Painting sets European record for most valuable artwork sold at Christie's
Friday 14 February 2014
A masterpiece by Francis Bacon has become the most valuable piece of artwork ever sold by auction house Christie's in Europe after going under the hammer for a record £42.2 million.
The 6ft-tall canvas of Bacon's former lover and muse George Dyer was due to fetch around £28 million but the sale smashed the estimate after being bought by an anonymous buyer over the phone.
Dyer died of an overdose in Paris two days before the painting was displayed at Bacon's first major retrospective at the Grand Palais in 1971.
The piece, called George Dyer Talking, is the most significant large-scale portrait of Dyer to be offered at auction in more than a decade.
A depiction of Mickey Mouse by acclaimed artist Damien Hirst was also auctioned off for £902,500 with all the proceeds going to children's charity Kids Company.
Hirst's work, which represents the figure of the Disney character with a series of large circles, was expected to fetch £300,000, but went for triple that.
Kids Company was founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh in 1996 to provide practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children and currently helps 36,000 children across London and Bristol.
Damien Hirst, "Mickey" (2012) Speaking after last night's auction Ms Batmanghelidjh said: “Some childlike magic happened tonight.
“£902, 500 was generated through the sale of Damien Hirst's painting and, in reality, Mickey came to the rescue of some of the most vulnerable children. This money will change lives. From the bottom of my heart thank you, Damien.”
Hirst added: “Brilliant and amazing. Sad to see Mickey go but that is a great result, I'm so pleased to be able to help Kids Company.”
The works were auctioned off as part of Christie's Post War And Contemporary Art evening auction which takes place in London.
Also included in the sale was a Jeff Koons sculpture depicting a cracked egg.
The most expensive of Bacon's work was his triptych of Lucian Freud which sold for £85.3 million (142 million US dollars) at Christie's New York in November 2013.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 David Cameron refers to 83-year-old Labour MP Dennis Skinner as 'Jurassic Park'
- 2 iPhone 7 (or iPhone 6S) leaked pictures show similarities to older model — but Apple is fixing the biggest issue of all
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Alwaleed bin Talal: Saudi Prince to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
Amy, film review: Beautiful film reveals ugly truth behind singer's downward spiral
'Dukes of Hazzard' pulled from screens by CBS as outcry over Confederate flag grows
London Has Fallen trailer release branded 'extremely insensitive' ahead of 10th anniversary of 7/7 bombings
What if Nicolas Cage played every character in Game of Thrones?
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert