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Francis Bacon’s ‘Triptych’ Eying More Than $60 Million As Sotheby’s Anticipates Rebirth Of Live Auctions In June

Tucked away in the Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo since 1993, a private museum founded by Norwegian tycoon and real estate and shipping conglomerate heir Hans Rasmus Astrup, Francis Bacon’s large-format Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus (1981) was slated to go on sale in May before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the global art world to its knees.

The magnificent masterpiece, acquired by Astrup in 1984 from Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London, pays homage to the trilogy of Greek tragedies from the 5th century B.C. It’s expected to sell for more than $60 million at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York, when the auction giant plans to revive live evening and day Contemporary and Impressionist and Modern Art auctions. Previously scheduled for May, the sales will be held in New York during the week of June 29, pending an end to restrictions imposed in the wake of the public health disaster. Sotheby’s insists it will take added precautions to ensure the safety of its employees and visitors.

Astrup donated all of his commercial assets and their art holdings to the Hans Rasmus Astrup Foundation in 2013. Proceeds from the sale of Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus will help bolster and maintain the Astrup Fearnley Museet, with a focus on augmenting the magnate’s remarkable fine art acquisitions.

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