Irish artist Francis Bacon’s triptych painting, The Studies of Lucian Freud, recently sold for $142 million at an auction, becoming the highest-priced painting to be sold via auction. However, the new owner of the painting is a mystery that has piqued the curiosity of the art community and investors alike.
Businessweek reported that there are two rumors circulating around New York art dealer William Acquavella. One story has the prominent art dealer buying the painting for billionaire Roman Abromovich. The Russian oligarch is also the owner of another painting by Bacon, Triptych 1976, which until this sale held the record for the highest-priced painting sold via auction. Another rumor floating is that the Acquavella acquired the painting for the Qatar Museums Authority.
It also was reported he purchased on the museum’s behalf previously. The third rumor afloat is that the painting was purchased by a consortium of dealers and then flipped.
….Peppiatt, who was friends with Bacon for almost 30 years, says that he “regrets that Bacon isn’t around to open the champagne.” (Bacon famously enjoyed consuming copious amounts of champagne during daylight hours.) But Bacon pretty openly detested the idea of art selling for exorbitant profits. As he once said, “Prices are so ridiculous that people go to galleries because they are obsessed by the money.”