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.

Read: The Scream sells for $120 million

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Francis Bacon's record painting

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