Object of Desire

A prize for a collector with deep pockets is Seated Figure (Red Cardinal.

19th October, 2014

A prize for a collector with deep pockets is Seated Figure (Red Cardinal), one of a series of papal paintings by Francis Bacon, painted in 1960 and inspired by Velazquez’s portrait of Pope Innocent X. Unseen in public for 35 years, it last sold at auction to a Belgian collector in 1996 when it fetched £1.5 million.

In the aftermath of the $142.4 million paid for Three Studies of Lucien Freud in New York last November,...

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