Francis Bacon's complete prints offered for first time at auction

For the first time ever, Christie's is offering the complete prints of Francis Bacon in an online-only auction that opened for bidding yesterday (October 22).

Francis Bacon Study for a bullfight
The print is an impression of the first of two versions of Study for Bullfight, one of Bacon's most celebrated works

The sale encompasses Bacon's entire graphic oeuvre, including variations on his most recognisable subjects and themes. It will close on November 5.

Leading bids will be Bacon's Study for Bullfight No. 1, a colour lithograph created in 1971. A fantastic impression of the famed 1969 work, it is expected to make £40,000-60,000 ($64,647-96,971).

Following is a 1981 lithograph of Three studies for a self-portrait, which is valued at £18,000-25,000 ($29,091-40,404). The original work sold at Sotheby's in February for £13.7m ($21.5m).

"Never before has such a complete survey of Francis Bacon's printed work been offered at auction. We are particularly excited to offer this collection in an online-only sale, giving new and established collectors around the world the opportunity to explore and buy these powerful prints over a two week period," commented Christie's prints specialist Lucia Tro Santafe.

The collection is the work of a single-owner, who had access to Bacon's publishers during the 1970s and 1980s and purchased the prints directly from them at the time of issue.

Bacon Freud triptych
Bacon's Three Studies of Lucien Freud could see a new auction record for the artist, in November

The sale precedes Christie's November 12 auction of Bacon's Three Studies of Lucien Freud, a triptych that could top the artist's auction record - currently held at $86m by Triptych, 1976.

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