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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006, 09:21 GMT
$15m sale beats Bacon art record
Francis Bacon's Version No. 2 of Lying Figure with Hypodermic Syringe
The painting was based partly on Bacon's friend Henrietta Moraes
A Francis Bacon painting showing a woman who has just taken drugs has been sold for $15m (7.9m), a record for a work by the Dublin-born artist.

Version No. 2 of Lying Figure with Hypodermic Syringe, created in 1968, was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder at Sotheby's in New York.

The masterpiece was from the collection of Roger Vanthournout, a Belgian furniture-maker who died last year.

The auction set 15 records in all, one of them for Britain's Anish Kapoor.

Kapoor's untitled carved alabaster sculpture from 1999 generated $2.3m (1.2m), about five times the sum it had been predicted to earn.

Warhol sales

There were also several works by Andy Warhol for sale, with Flowers, one of the pop artist's seminal images, fetching $6.8m (3.6m).

Again it exceeded expectations, as did Warhol's Martinson Coffee, which went for $3.8m (2m).

Francis Bacon in 1970
Francis Bacon was born in Dublin in 1909 and died at the age of 82
Other highlights included Willem de Kooning's Untitled XXX, sold for $10.7m (5.6m), and Roy Lichtenstein's $6.6m (3.5m) Black and White Sunrise.

The record-breaking picture by Bacon features a reclining female nude and was inspired partly by his friend Henrietta Moraes.

Her arm is pierced by a needle, although Bacon claimed it was there for visual reasons only and had no sinister connotations.

Auctioneer Tobias Meyer, who is also Sotheby's worldwide head of contemporary art, said the company was "thrilled" with the sale, which generated a total of $125m (66m).

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