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Michelangelo Sketch Sells for $24 Million in Paris

May 19th, 2022

A recently unearthed Michelangelo sketch, considered to be the artist’s first nude, has sold  at Christie’s Paris for a record 23 million euros ($24 million). “Michelangelo has decided to make the figure into something that corresponded more to his aesthetic by making him much more robust and monumental, while at the same time keeping the fragility of the figure, who is exposed and shivering” as he awaits baptism,” says Christie’s Old Masters expert Stijn Alsteens.
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Basquiat Work Sells for $85 Million at Phillips $224.9 Million Night

May 19th, 2022

The Jean-Michel Basquiat work from the collection of Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa had a strong return to auction last night at Phillips, where it achieved $85 Million, part of a total sale of  $224.9 million, the highest in the company’s history. 
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Independent Art Fair to Launch New Fair Around 20th Century Work

May 17th, 2022

The Independent Art Fair will launch a new fair in September this year that will focus on 20th Century Works. “Over the years, there has been a shift, with next-generation dealers showing a more diverse group of artists and territories, geographically, socially, politically,” says Independent director Elizabeth Dee. “They are looking forward and looking back, saying, ‘We need to have a canon that looks like our program.’”
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon, image via National Galleries

b. 1909 in Dublin, died 1992 in Madrid

Bacon was considered a modern artist but did not belong to any particular art movement. He developed his own style of work, often creating scenes involving violence or sexuality.

Bacon is an Irish born painter, who is best known for his nightmarish, grotesque imagery.  He lived a tumulus life, constantly moving, being shuffled around to relatives, a strained relationship with his father, menial jobs, and a severe case of asthma and a violent allergy to dogs and horses.  He was never formally trained or attended any art schools.  

His medical conditions caused him to purchase a medical book on the subject matter diseases of the mouth, which contained images that would haunt him for the rest of his life. Bacon noted that the 1925 silent film The Battleship Potemkin, was highly influential on his work.

His first show was in 1929, which exhibited his rugs and furniture he had created while working as an interior designer.  His later works were an abstraction of the human form. 


Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944) via Tate Collection

Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944) would be the first forerunner of Bacon’s works that would take the triptych format.   Three panels placed behind heavily gilded frames, an open mouth a reference to the The Battleship Potemkin, and the use of distortion.  

Study after Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent

Study After Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent image via Art Quotes

Bacon also became interested in Diego Velasquez’s work, particularly, his Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1650. Bacon painted a series of Popes, however his version the Pope was more gruesome and nightmarish.


Triptych (1972) via Tate Collection

Bacon destroyed his previous works he did not deem worthy, many ending up with slashed canvases. His relationship with Eastender George Dyer influenced his Triptych (1973), which documents Dyer’s suicide, and would continue to be a theme for his works for the rest of his life. 

Bacon died of a heart attack April 28, 1992 while in Madrid, Spain.