A rare painting by Francis Bacon will lead an upcoming auction by Sotheby’s New York. Entitled Study for a Head (1952), the artwork is part of the influential British painter’s acclaimed Screaming Pope series. Derived from the collection of Seattle philanthropists Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis, the monumental piece currently has an estimated price range of $20-$30 million USD, as per artnet.
Bacon’s progressive practice involves heavy experimentation, complex visuals, and motifs drawing inspiration from popes, crucifixions, and portraits of close friends. As for the soon-to-be-sold piece, “the painting contains all the elements of the artist’s best-known works from this period—broken pince-nez glasses, a purple mozzetta, and of course the reverberating scream—and draws inspiration from the works of Velázquez, Munch, and Poussin, as well as Bacon’s lifelong exploration of the human condition,” said Grégoire Billault, head of contemporary art at Sotheby’s New York to artnet.
Study for a Head joins more standout works for Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern evening sale on May 14.
For more dynamic artworks, check out JR’s monumental installation at Paris’ iconic Musée du Louvre.
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‘Study for a Head’ from 1952 is an outstanding example of Francis Bacon’s most recognizable iconography: the ‘screaming Pope’. It belongs to a series of six small paintings in the head-and-shoulders portrait format completed by Bacon that year, which advanced both his suited businessmen as well as the Papal imagery he began in the late-1940s. Today, ‘Study for a Head’ represents one of the most important works by Bacon remaining in private hands. The painting comes to auction at Sotheby’s this May as part of a selection of works from the storied collection of Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis, whose superlative collection of 20th century art now belongs to the Friday Foundation. The Foundation’s purpose is to further the mission of the cultural organizations championed by Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis during their lifetimes, through the donation of funds and of artworks. #SothebysContemporary #FrancisBacon #Bacon #ContemporaryArt