Damien Hirst Buys Francis Bacon

Damien Hirst sets auction records for sales of his own work, but he has also been setting auction records for the work of other artists. At a Sothebys auction last week Hirst was an anonymous phone bidder on a small Francis Bacon self portrait. The final price for the 1969 painting was $33 million or £15.9 million.

francis bacon selfportrait painting

Francis Bacon would easily be one of my top 20 all time favorite artists, but I don’t think he hit the target with every painting. I think this Bacon self portrait is one that didn’t quite hit the mark and it doesn’t deserve to be a record setting (small) work by Bacon.

Damien Hirst Pays $33.1 Million for Francis Bacon Self-Portrait
“Hirst, 42, has a fortune valued at 130 million pounds ($269 million) by the Sunday Times. He sold 130 million pounds of his trademark pickled animals at London’s White Cube galleries earlier this year, and joined a group that invested in his diamond skull, leaving little new work on the market. His art collection runs from U.S. pop artist Jeff Koons to U.K. graffiti artists.” Bloomberg

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. I am a BIG fan of Francis Bacon. I agree with you though about this painting. It does seems it is JUST because it is Francis Bacon that it is so high. In other words it is the brand that sold, not the merit of the work itself,right?

  2. Yes, I will jump on the bandwagon about this particular Bacon having a pumped up price tag simply because it is a Bacon. There was a wonderful Bacon exhibit here at the Milwaukee Art Museum a few months ago…YUM. Branding is the biggest thing ever and it effects everything. I’m so pleased that I don’t buy into the hype :-P

  3. And Francis Bacon is so HOT at the moment. He seems to have a major work at every big auction now, and theyre all fetching big sums.

    Mr Hirst may not like losing either.

  4. Pumped up price tags are the norm,art is more fixed then gold it is odd but true.Claude at http://www.malebeautyforum.com/NudeMaleArtGallery.html

  5. I don’t like it. I find it very unsettling. I like Hurst’s explanations for various actions and creations and i’d love to hear his reasons for splashing out so much for this.

  6. I’m kind of attracted to that painting, It reminds me of a picture I took of my wife on our honeymoon in the Norfolk Broads. Well, it was taken through bullet glass. She really doesn’t look like that.

    I think I like it because I can only imagine what was going through his mind while painting.


  7. Honeymoon in the Norfolk Broads is very Francis Bacon in a nice kind of way! I loveit too!

  8. Who will be able to exceed the
    next price surge?? Very nice to see a happy home for Great Art….

    All Best Wishes

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