Colin Gleadell does some digging in the market for Francis Bacon paintings that has come back to life and drawn a major sale from a significant collector. Bacon’s Study for a Portrait is on offer at Christie’s in London and June:
In 1984 it was bought from Marlborough by the Swiss entrepreneur and wine producer Donald M Hess, who, though not identified as such by Christie’s, is the seller next month.
Hess, 75, who announced his retirement from the family business last week, is one of the world’s top art collectors with more than 1,000 contemporary art works, including 30 by the American light artist James Turrell, which he displays in three museums dotted around the world in locations where his winery business operates: in Napa Valley, California; Paarl, South Africa; and Salta, Argentina. A fourth museum is being planned in the Barossa Valley, Australia. Of his art buying, Hess has said: “When I have seen an art piece which keeps me awake over several nights, I know that this art piece has touched me deeply and this is one of my most important criteria to buy an art work.” But he is not known to have previously sold any art from his collection. His website states: “Sales of artwork are for Hess taboo.”
Bacons Streaming Back on the Market (Telegraph)