Back in November, Francis Bacon's Three Studies of Lucian Freud became the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction when someone paid $142,405,000 to add it to their collection. According to the New York Times, Bacon pieces have been popping up more frequently since that record setting night, and last night there was a bit of paddle battle at Sotheby's for a triptych titled Three Studies for Portrait of George Dyer (on Light Ground).

Dyer was Bacon's lover and the subject of various paintings by the artist. According to Bacon's estate, Dyer was found dead from an alcohol and drug overdose, two days before the Francis Bacon Retrospective at Grand Palais in Paris in 1971 where the painting was last seen. Phone bidders went bid for bid until the piece finally sold for $45.4 million, almost $12 million more than the estimate.

We're not sure if it was the history attached to the piece or the current demand for Bacon's work that caused the price to soar, but there is another painting by the artist heading to auction today at Christie's that will more than likely surpass its $20.5 million estimate. 

[via New York Times]

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