Colin Gleadell has the story of Francis Bacon’s lost Pope painting which Christie’s will sell in October during the Frieze sales. The work was on the only object in the recently published Bacon catalogue raisonné that eluded the scholar who ran the project.
Christie’s has a £7-10m estimate on the work:
The rediscovered painting measures just 26 by 20 inches, which accounts for the lower £10 million estimate, but is rare – one of only two known Papal paintings of that size. And, while most of Bacon’s 50 Pope paintings are inspired by Velasquez, only nine relate to the incumbent Pope, Pius X11. Bacon had a photograph of Pius being carried on his throne through St Peter’s pinned to his studio wall next to images of wartime dictators.