Francis Bacon triptych sells for $84m at online auction

Francis Bacon triptych sells for $84m at online auction

 A triptych by Francis Bacon fetched $84.6 million on Monday at a Sotheby’s auction held without an audience and live-streamed to bidders worldwide in a first for the company forced to adapt its big events during the coronavirus pandemic.

The British artist’s work, inspired by Greek playwright Aeschylus’s “Oresteia”, is one of 28 large-scale triptychs — a painting in three parts — created by Bacon between 1962 and 1991.

It previously belonged to a Norwegian art collector and had an estimated value of $60-$80 million.

Sotheby’s spring auctions usually generate billions of dollars, but with New York City hard-hit by COVID-19, the auction house announced last month it would stream a series of modern and contemporary art sales from London instead.

Describing the event as “an historic evening”, Chairman for Sotheby’s Europe Oliver Barker introduced the auction, the first of its magnitude to be held without an audience.