Mystery bidder who bought record £89m Francis Bacon portrait ‘is a member of the Qatari royal family dubbed the most powerful woman in art’ – Mail online has reported.
- Sister of emir of Qatar reportedly bought Three Studies Of Lucian Freud
- She spends $1billion a year on art as head of Qatar Museums Authority
- Painting became the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction
- The 1969 triptych carried pre-sale estimate of $85m ahead of Christie’s sale
- It easily eclipsed the $119.9 million price of Edvard Munch’s The Scream, achieved in May of last year at Sotheby’s
The mystery buyer who paid a record £89million for Francis Bacon’s Three Studies Of Lucian Freud is a member of the Qatari royal family dubbed the most powerful woman in art, it was claimed today.
Speculation has been rife about the identity of the successful bidder after the triptych last week made history by becoming the most expensive work of art ever to be sold at auction.
Today, the latest name to emerge is that of Sheikha Mayassa, the sister of the emir of Qatar who has around $1billion a year to spend on art in her role as head of the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA).
Page Six says it has been told by ‘numerous sources’ that the painting was bought by New York’s respected Acquavella Gallery on behalf the Mayassa, whose official title is Her Excellency Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. Last month, Mayassa was named the most influential figure in the art world in a ‘power list’ published by Britain’s ArtReview magazine. The 30-year-old climbed the list after coming in 11th place last year because of her ‘sheer buying power’, the magazine said.
The QMA bought French post-impressionist Paul Cezanne’s masterpiece The Card Players for $250 million last year, making it the most expensive painting sold to date. ‘If and when Doha finds it has bought enough art, there’s going to be a hole in the market that no one else can fill,’ ArtReview said.
In May, Christie’s achieved the highest total in the history of auctions when it sold $495 million worth of art at its postwar and contemporary sale.
The auction house said Bacon’s three-paneled work, which depicts the Dublin-born painter’s friend and fellow artist Lucian Freud on a chair, with a view from each side and one face on, was ‘a true masterpiece that marks Bacon and Freud’s relationship’ and their ‘creative and emotional kinship.’
‘The juxtaposition of radiant sunshine yellow contrasting with the brutal physicality and immediacy of the brushstrokes in this celebrated life-size triptych is what makes Bacon’s art so remarkable,’ said Francis Outred, the head of European postwar and contemporary art for Christie’s.
‘This suddenly becomes a very important conversation between two masters,’ Outred said in an interview. He noted that Three Studies Of Lucian Freud is one of only two existing full-length triptychs of Freud, a grandson of the founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, and that the three panels were separated for 15 years in the 1970s before being reunited. Christie’s also offering a Warhol Coca-Cola, which carries an estimate of $40 million to $60 million, and a sculpture by Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Orange) expected to fetch $35 million to $55 million.
On Wednesday, Sotheby’s will try to break the $71.7 million record price for a Warhol when if offers the monumental Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster), which has an estimated sale price of $60 million to $80 million. Source: Daily Mail.