The world’s most expensive work of art will make its debut at the Portland Art Museum, after selling last month at Christie’s Auction House for $142,405,000. Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Feud will be on view from December 21. 2013 through March 30, 2014.
Museum Director Brian Ferriso states in the recent press release: “For some time Chief Curator Bruce Guenther and I have been looking for a modern or contemporary work to present in this ongoing series that brings singular masterpieces to Portland,”… “When the collector agreed to our request to exhibit the triptych, we knew that it would be an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our visitors to see this seminal work.” Without a doubt he was correct about the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for their ongoing series, MASTERWORKS I Portland.
The triptych masterpiece depicts Bacon’s close friend and fellow artist, Lucian Freud (Grandson of Sigmund Freud) whose own work was greatly influenced by Bacon. “An undeniable icon of twentieth century art, the masterpiece triptych Three Studies of Lucian Freud (1969) marks the epic culmination of Francis Bacon’s relationship with fellow painter and chronicler of the human condition, Lucian Freud. Glowing in a palette of sunshine yellow and carried out in Bacon’s celebrated triptych format, the towering, life-size painting pulses with vitality. With each masterful sweep of the brush, Bacon has animated his friend, Freud being seen to restlessly reposition himself, pivot his raised foot, kneed his hands in his lap and rotate his head from canvas to canvas. Reincarnated in paint, we are invited to get up close and personal with Freud.” Christie’s.
This is the first time the Bacon triptychs will be on view to the public as a complete set since exhibiting at Galleria Galatea from March – April 1970 and at the Grand Palais, Paris, in October 1971 – May 1972. They were later sold separately from Galleria Galatea, Turin, reunited in the 1990’s in a private collection in Rome, and sold at auction together last month.