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As I noted on my previous post, Christie’s New York is holding its “Looking Forward to the Past” auction on May 11th where bidding for “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O)” by Pablo Picasso is expected to open at $140 million.

Two days later, Christie’s New York will hold a Post-War and Contemporary Art auction featuring works by Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon, (and Cy Twombly, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Martin Kippenger, Franz Kline and Jeff Koons.)

Portrait of Henrietta Moraes, Francis Bacon 1963.

Portrait of Henrietta Moraes, Francis Bacon 1963.

The British artists Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon famously were friends and friendly rivals. As I recall on my Bacon Freud post, that’s one of the reasons Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” sold at Christie’s New York for $142 million in November of 2013.  

Bacon’s “Portrait of Henrietta Moraes” (1963) is offered at Christie’s New York auction on May 13th. It is the most seductive female figure he ever painted, according to Christie’s catalog, but it won’t command the same resounding nine-figure price point. The portrait sold for £21.4 at Christie’s London in February 2012. 

"When they first met in 1951, Francis Bacon was one of the few admirers of the model who did not sleep with her" -- The Daily Mail

“When they first met in 1951, Francis Bacon was one of the few admirers of the model who did not sleep with her” — The Daily Mail

Unlike Lucien Freud, who also painted Henrietta Moraes, Bacon did not bang her on the edge of a sink in her squalid Soho flat because he was gay. Read more about the beguiling Henrietta Moraes at The Daily Mail —

Portrait of a tragic muse: As this picture sells for £21m, we reveal the extraordinary story of the sexually voracious but deeply troubled woman who inspired it

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