Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” has been sold for a whopping $142 million at Christie’s evening sale of post-war and contemporary art and thus become the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction. Bacon’s triptych painting from 1969 sold after six minutes of fierce bidding, and now identity of new owner has been revealed – it’s Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad al-Thani – the sister of Qatar’s emir and the most powerful woman in art.
Her passion for art is evident through fact that she spends $1billion a year on art as head of Qatar Museums Authority. Last year, she reportedly spent a record-breaking $158 million for Paul Cezanne’s “Card Players”. The Qatari royal family has also spent heavily on works by Mark Rothko, Richard Serra, Roy Lichtenstein, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons. The same family is spending more than $100 billion as it prepares for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Christie’s evening sale of post-war and contemporary art in New York achieved the highest auction total in art market history with $691 million in sales.