Quietly two weeks ago, some works by Francis Bacon disappeared from Sotheby’s auction last week raising some suspicion that the failure of a Bacon work at Christie’s had spooked the consignors. At the start of the auction, Sotheby’s announced that the works were withdrawn because of export issues. Colin Gleadell reveals that the story is far more surprising:
they had been denied an export license by the British government due to their national cultural importance. Dating from c.1935, they are early views of interiors made when Bacon was making a living as an interior decorator. Tate is hoping to include one of them in its exhibition about the influence of Picasso on British art next year. Curiously, both had been on the market before in the last ten years had a UK institution wished to buy them.
Chinese Art Market Losing Steam (Telegraph)