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Most expensive painting to be displayed at Portland Art Museum

The Portland Art Museum is the seventh oldest museum in the United States. It houses many masterpieces but it is yet to have a very expensive painting up for viewing this month.

According to

The Portland Art Museum in Oregon announced on Monday afternoon that the world’s most expensive painting ever sold at auction — Francis Bacon’s triptych “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” — which brought $142.4 million at Christie’s in November, will be on view there from Dec. 21 through March 30th.

The multi-million dollar masterpiece is known to be one of Francis Bacon’s finest works, which shows Lucian Freudm, Bacon’s fellow artist and grandson of the famous Sigmund Freud. For over 50 years, Bacon and Freud painted each other in many occasions but the triptych is considered the most emotional and monumental of all.

“Bacon captures the spirit of Freud, rendering him as a tightly coiled mass of energy, ready to spring from the caned bentwood chair positioned in front of a brass bed,” said Chief Curator Bruce Guenther. “The expressive, volatile brushwork that delineates Freud’s hands and face acts as a brilliant foil to the smooth rendering of the highly abstracted objects and space.”

The triptych was first shown in Italy then in Paris in the 1970s. It was separated and sold to three different private collections and disappeared from view for over 15 years before being put together once again in the ’90s by an Italian collector.

Although the collector who bought the triptych wants to remain anonymous, rumor has it that the co-founder of Microsoft Paul G. Allen might be the major art collector who won the auction last month. This speculation was brought about by the museum’s announcement that said “This special installation is made possible in part through the support of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation,’’. But the representatives of Portland Art Museum and a spokesperson for the Allen Family Foundation were both quick to debunk the rumor.

Other works that were featured in the Portland Art Museum’s Masterworks/Portland series include masterpieces such as Raphael’s La Velata, Titian’s La Bella, and Thomas Moran’s Shoshone Falls on the Snake River.


Three Studies of Lucian Freud by Francis Bacon

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