World’s leading auction room goes virtual

Fancy yourself as an art collector? Fancy bagging an Irish art piece?

Got a handy $60 million to spare?

Then you might be interested in a vistual event next month being staged by auctioneers Sothebys!

An Irish painter headlines the sale as the art market gets its first big test since the pandemic began when Sotheby’s holds its sale of Impressionist, modern and contemporary art next month.

The New York auctions, will be streamed live on June 29, in a break from a centuries-old tradition.

The auctioneer will be in an empty room in London, facing a bank of screens showing colleagues from around the world as they bid on behalf of clients remotely.

The highlight of the show is this three panel work by Francis Bacon.

“Triptych inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus” by Francis Bacon
Source: Sotheby’s

Francis Bacon’s “Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus” informed by a greek tragedy written in the 5th century BC, is a three-panel oil painting created in 1981, and will be the evening’s focal point.

The Impressionist sale will also include Picasso’s 1934 portrait of Marie-Therese Walter, estimated at $9 million to $12 million.

Francis Bacon died in 1992 and was born in a nursing home at 63 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin on the 28th October 1909. He was the second of five children born to English parents who had moved to Ireland as his father chased a dream to become a breeder and trainer of horses.

According to the Bacon Trust his father, Anthony Edward ‘Eddy’ Mortimer Bacon, a retired Army Major, opted to chase his equine dream in Ireland was principally’ by reasons of cost’.

Francis’s mother, Christina Winifred Loxley Bacon, née Firth, came from a Sheffield family who had established their fortune in steel.

The family’s first residence in Ireland was Cannycourt House near the Curragh, Co. Kildare, an area renowned for its horse breeding and racing.

During the First World War they uprooted to London, where Eddy Bacon served in the War Office. After the war they returned to an Ireland fundamentally changed by the 1916 Rising. The subsequent War of Independence (1919-1921) and Civil War (1922-23) cast a shadow of violence over the countryside.

The Bacon family moved between various country houses in Co. Laois and Co. Kildare and, for shorter stays, to England.

The 16-year-old Bacon went to London carrying with him chronic asthma, a life-long affliction that hampered any efforts at country pursuits and seemingly diminished him in the eyes of his father. He was close, however, to his maternal grandmother, Winifred Margaret Supple, ‘Granny Supple,’ who disliked her son-in-law. Her house near Abbeyleix contained bow-ended rooms that would be echoed in the backdrops of Bacon’s paintings.

So now you know!

Bacon eventually became an interior decorator and furniture designer, setting himself up in a studio at 17 Queensberry Mews West, South Kensington where he staged his first oil exhibition in 1930.

His three panel painting goes under the virtual hammer with a price tag of $60 million and the auction room has done this fabulous video on the art piece.