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Triptych more than double Bacon's previous works

A painting by Francis Bacon which has become the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction fetched more than double the value of his second most expensive piece of artwork.

Read: Bacon's 'remarkable' triptych breaks art record

Triptych, 1976, was bought for £43 million in 2008 by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich at an auction by Sotheby's in New York.

Bacon had previously sat as the subject for Freud, for a portrait which fetched more than £5 million at auction in 2008.

Bacon died in 1992 and Freud in 2011.

More: Francis Bacon painting fetches record price at auction

Bacon's 'remarkable' triptych breaks art record

Francis Bacon's record breaking artwork breaks together two of the 20th century's greatest figurative painters, auction house Christie's said.

Three Studies of Lucian Freud, executed in 1969, is a true masterpiece that marks Bacon and Freud's relationship, paying tribute to the creative and emotional kinship between the two artists.

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.

The painting stands as one of only two existing full-length triptychs of Lucian Freud, and for almost 15 years the three panels were separated before being reunited in the 1980s.

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Francis Bacon painting fetches record price at auction

A painting by Francis Bacon has become the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction after fetching $142 million (£89 million) in New York.

The 1969 triptych was estimated to be sold at $85 million and bidding started at a whopping $80 million.

Francis Bacon's Three Studies of Lucian Freud, before it was sold by Christie's in New York. Credit: PA Wire

The monumental painting 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.

Christie's called it "a true masterpiece that marks Bacon and Freud's relationship" and their "creative and emotional kinship."

The work sold after a protracted bidding war both in the packed New York salesroom and via telephone. Christie's did not disclose the identity of the successful buyer.

The price eclipsed the $119.9m (£74m) paid for Edvard Munch's The Scream last year.