Bacon's seldom-seen Pope expected to fetch up to $25M at auction
NEW YORK — A painting from Francis Bacon's iconic screaming Pope series, which has not been seen in public since 1975, is hitting the auction block where it is expected to sell for as much as $25 million, Sotheby's said.
“Untitled (Pope),” which Bacon painted circa 1954, will be sold at the New York sale on Nov. 13 of impressionist and modern art, the auction house said in a statement.
“This is a great collecting opportunity,” said Oliver Barker, Sotheby's senior specialist for contemporary art.
“Paintings of this nature have become tremendously important in terms of asset value,” he said, adding that Bacon's early Pope paintings “are truly unattainable objects” with most gracing museum walls and only a few remaining in private hands.
Sotheby's said the work was last sold, and seen in public, in 1975, when a collector it declined to identify bought it for $71,500 at its London auction.
“The timing is absolutely right to capture the upward momentum of the Bacon market,” Barker said, noting that prices in recent years “have been driven by an international reassessment of his works by the market.” Barker said Bacon's most desirable works were his Pope series.
Works by the British painter have commanded high prices. A female nude sold for $34 million in London in February, and his “Triptych, 1976” went for $86 million in New York in May 2008.
Art prices have recovered since the financial crisis, and Barker said several of the highest prices for Bacons had been realized in the last three or four years.
Sotheby's has estimated the painting will fetch $18 million to $25 million. It will go on exhibition in Los Angeles and be shown in London and New York before the auction.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Met Museum of Art president to retire
- Move over, Mickey, here comes Crayola
- Surgeon general echoes warnings about skin cancer
- Obama’s many rules often violate statute
- N.H. kidnapping suspect held on $1M bail
- Girl struck by plane on beach succumbs
- Swift action expected of VA’s new secretary
- Lone clinic in Miss. for abortions still stands
- Harshest sanctions yet target Russian finances, arms
- Appeals court upholds nation of origin labels for meat
- UCLA inundated by burst pipe