New Record For Lucian Freud Painting At Sotheby’s London




A painting by the British Artist Lucian Freud from his ‘last great nudes’ series, Portrait on a White Cover has sold at Sotheby’s London for £a record 22.5million / $29.8 million. This is now the most expensive painting by the artist ever sold in London. The previous highest price for a work by the artist was £16.1 million for ‘Pregnant Girl’ also at Sotheby’s in February 2016.

Portrait on a White Cover was painted when the artist was 80 and represents the culmination of Freud’s lifelong engagement with the reclining nude. Alongside the self-portrait, the reclining nude was the defining leitmotif of Freud’s career. Across sixty years of painting, many mutations of painterly style, and a multitude of sitters, he returned to this challenging subject time and again. Portrait on a White Cover sits at the pinnacle of this endeavour.

Lucian Freud

last great nudes’ series, Portrait on a White Cover has sold at Sotheby’s London for £a record 22.5million / $29.8 million

Portrait on a White Cover depicts Sophie Lawrence, who worked for Tate publishing and was spotted by Freud whilst preparing for his Tate retrospective in 2002. This is her only known portrait and there is little written about her in the literature surrounding the artist’s work. She shared her story of sitting for the artist: “I wouldn’t have done it for anyone else, but he is one of the best artists who has ever lived. It was incredibly intimidating, but he made me feel at ease. He was very good at building a rapport with people. I was very fond of him.”

The artist painted only three further reclining nudes before his death in 2011. The painting which immediately preceded Portrait on a White Cover, Naked Portrait 2002 – depicting Kate Moss pregnant – set a new auction record for the artist at £7.3 million when it appeared at auction in 2005. Four of the top five prices for the artist at auction are for reclining nudes.

This June, Sotheby’s offered many important pieces by celebrated artists spanning the mid-Twentieth century right through to the present day. Masterpieces by Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Peter Doig and Yves Klein were among the many highlights that comprise the Contemporary Art Evening Auction which took place on 26 June in London.

Selected Highlights:

Peter Doig
DAYTIME ASTRONOMY (GRASSHOPPER)
Estimate 6,000,000 — 8,000,000 GBP
LOT SOLD. 7,674,400 GBP

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF SIR MICHAEL CAINE

David Hockney
PETER LANGAN, MICHAEL CAINE AND RICHARD SHEPHERD, LANGAN’S BRASSERIE
Estimate 300,000 — 500,000 GBP
LOT SOLD. 850,000 GBP

Roy Lichtenstein
CUBIST STILL LIFE
Estimate 1,800,000 — 2,500,000 GBP
LOT SOLD. 2,110,000 GBP

Jean-Michel Basquiat
UNTITLED
Estimate 1,500,000 — 2,500,000 GBP
LOT SOLD. 3,892,250 GBP

Cecily Brown
THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH
Estimate 750,000 — 950,000 GBP
LOT SOLD. 3,010,000 GBP


Related Posts

Art Bahrain Across Borders aims to bridge Bahrain to the global art market whilst promoting the development of local Bahraini artists.
Artlyst Benefit screen prints by Simon Patterson. Exclusive Editions
London Art Fair 2019 — 16-20 January 2019 - Book Now
Open Source Salon with Hauser and Wirth - A new monthly discussion group
Advertise your next show on Artlyst from £200 per week