With comparisons to the Mona Lisa and Picasso’s Dora Maar, Christie’s is pulling out the stops for Si Newhouse’s Francis Bacon small portrait of Henrietta Moraes that the auction house just announced for the November sales. Newhouse played an important role as a collector launching the current contemporary art market with his aggressive buying in the late 1990s that established important prices and demand. Over the last two decades, many of his significant pieces have been sold and re-sold at stratospheric mark-ups. The power of the Newhouse provenance is not necessarily reflected in the $14m low estimate on the Bacon being offered here. Katya Kazakina spoke to Tobias Meyer, who is handling the dispersal of Newhouse’s art collection, about the original acquisition in 2007. Kazakina says Newhouse, who was not afraid to pay good prices for works of quality he wanted to own, paid $9m for the work.
Here’s Christie’s release on the painting:Continue Reading