Francis Bacon painting Sold for more than $142 million breaks auction record

Bacon's Three Studies of Lucian FreudA painting by artist Francis Bacon sold for $142,405,000 on November 13th, breaking the record as the most expensive piece of art ever auctioned, according to a statement from the auction house.

“Three Studies of Lucian Freud” was sold after six minutes of bidding in the room and on the phone at Christie’s in New York City, according to spokeswoman Elizabeth Van Bergen.

Painted in 1969, it is known as one of Bacon’s most iconic works, as it features Lucian Freud at an important point of his relationship with Bacon, according to the auction house’s website.

The triptych, a three-panel piece of art, features Freud sitting on a wooden chair in varied positions.

The painting was part of a record-breaking auction that grossed $691,583,000, the highest total for an auction sale in art market history, according to Christie’s.

It was a night of records, as the sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art broke 10 auction records with three pieces sold for more than $50 million, 11 for over $20 million and 16 for over $10 million.

Another very imporatnt record that was set that night was Jeff Koons’s “Balloon Dog”, which fetched $58.4 million. This is a milestone record for any piece of art sold at auction by a living artist.

The previous record for a work of art sold at an auction was Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” painted in 1895. It sold for more than $119 million dollars in 2012 at Sotheby’s New York, according to the statement.

With that said, this is not the most expensive painting ever sold. outside of the auction house, seven other works of art have been more expensive in the past placing the bacon sale at number eight all time.

The sale concludes a break-out year for post-war art, garnering over $6 Billion in 2013. This is an increase of over 600% in post-war art sales from the year before.

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to as Chief editor and writer.