Painting Sold For $142-Million

Francis Bacon painting
This image shows part of the painting on the left panel of the triptych by Francis Bacon.

On Tuesday, someone paid more than $142-million for a painting.

It’s the most anyone has ever paid for a painting sold in an auction.

The painting is called “Three Studies of Lucian Freud,” by an Irish-born painter named Francis Bacon.

It’s actually three paintings that go together. That is known as a “triptych.”

The sale took just six minutes.

Because it was an auction, people had to bid for the painting.

Some people were bidding in person, and some people were bidding over the telephone.

The auction house (a famous auction house called Christie’s) is not saying who purchased the painting.

Before the sale on Tuesday, the world-record highest priced painting (sold in an auction) was $120-million for Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

A reporter on CBC Radio said the Francis Bacon painting sold for so much money partly because it is big, it is colourful, it has three panels instead of just one, and both the painter and the person in the painting are relatively well-known people.

One art expert said the fact that Bacon didn’t paint as many paintings as some artists made this one relatively rare and therefore more valuable.

The most anyone has ever paid for a painting—not sold in an auction—is $250 million for Paul Cezanne’s “The Card Players.”

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
What makes a painting valuable? What makes one painting more valuable than another? 

Do you think a painting can be worth as much as $142-million dollars? What are your thoughts on this price?

Reading Prompt: Making Inferences/Interpreting Texts
Have you ever seen an auction? People who were at this auction describe the bidding as “fierce.” What do you think the auction must have been like, for the bidding to reach $142-million in six minutes?

Why do you think Christie’s chose not to say who purchased the painting?

Use stated and implied ideas in texts to make inferences and construct meaning (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Grammar Feature: Root words
A triptych is a three-part painting. ‘Tri’ means three and it is the root word of ‘triptych’.

What are the root words of the following, and what do you think the root words mean?
1. automatic
2. geography
3. aquamarine
4. minimum
5. solar