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Wednesday, 9 May, 2001, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Bacon sale hits world record
The left panel of Francis Bacon's Studies of the Human Body
Studies of the Human Body by Francis Bacon
An auction of the Francis Bacon painting Studies of the Human Body has set a new world record price for the artist of £6m in New York.

The sale price of the triptych doubled expectations and proved the major draw at the auction of the Stanley J Seeger collection at Sotheby's.

The right panel of Francis Bacon's Studies of the Human Body
The work was hanging in Stanley Seeger's bedroom
The 1977 work is seen as his response to Michelangelo's nudes and the early photography of Eadweard Muybridge.

Until recently the Bacon work was hung in the bedroom of the London-based American collector.

It was bought by Mr Seeger when he acquired Sutton Place, a Tudor house in Surrey, from J Paul Getty.

Self portrait

Francis Bacon's Study for a Self-Portrait from 1980 sold for $1.8m (£1.2m), four times higher than the estimate.

Auction records were also set for works by Max Beckmann, Hans Hoffmann and Joan Miro.

Miro's Nocturne was sold for £3.9m.

Works from the Mr Seeger's collection sold for a total $54m (£37m), surpassing a pre-sale estimate of $39.9m (£28m).

Charles Moffett, co-chairman of Sotheby's impressionist and modern art department worldwide, said: "The marketplace responded to the quality and excitement of the works in his collection.

"There was a tremendous depth in the bidding we saw this evening across a range of collectors and dealers, both European and American, and included a museum in the competition."

At an auction at Phillips in New York on Monday a painting by the renowned artist Paul Cézanne sold for a $38.5m, the highest price paid for a landscape by the French painter.

See also:

09 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Slices of Bacon sell for £3m
22 Nov 98 | Entertainment
Lost Bacons unearthed
30 Jan 01 | Americas
Auction house cases dropped
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