Freud self-portrait sold for £2.8m
A self-portrait of Lucian Freud nursing a black eye after a punch-up with a taxi driver sold for more than £2.8 million when it went under the hammer.
Sotheby's described the rediscovered oil on canvas Self-Portrait With A Black Eye, circa 1978, as "the artist's most important self-depiction ever to appear at auction".
The auctioneer revealed the painting sold for £2,841,250.
This was under the estimate of £3 million to £4 million.
In the picture, Freud, aged almost 60 at the time, is shown sporting a swollen left eye, as the result of a row between the artist and a taxi driver, during which Freud was struck in the face.
Suffering for his art, Freud was said to have retreated to his studio rather than seek treatment - using his crumpled, swollen features as the inspiration for the important new work.
The painting was included in Sotheby's London Evening Sale of Contemporary Art last night.
The portrait, which had not been displayed before in public, was the star lot in a group of works by Freud which have been in a private European collection.
Sotheby's said it had never been recorded in the published literature on Freud, having remained in the same collection for more than 30 years.
The artist, now 87, previously discussed his habit of getting into scrapes, saying: "I used to have a lot of fights.
"It wasn't because I liked fighting, it was really just that people said things to me to which I felt the only reply was to hit them."
Other artists who have famously recorded their injuries include Vincent Van Gogh, who painted his Self-Portrait With Bandaged Ear.
The sale price includes the buyer's premium.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens trailer: The most extreme fan reactions on Twitter
Doctor Who film will definitely happen, leaked Sony emails reveal
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust