The identity of the new owner of the $142 million Francis Bacon painting has been revealed, and the proud owner of the Francis Bacon triptych is none other than Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad al-Thani, the sister of Qatar’s emir. In a record-breaking auction, the work was bought at Christie’s in New York by the prestigious Acquavella Gallery on behalf of an unnamed client.
The Sheikha, who heads the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) and has a reputation for paying large sums at auctions to guarantee the winning bid, was named the buyer by The New York Post. Sheikha Mayassa is already well known as one of the biggest, most powerful spenders in the art world are in charge of the royal family’s art-buying budget, reputed to exceed $1 billion a year. Speculation is already rife in Qatar of a new national museum that will open in 2016 to show off the country’s acquired art treasures.
Its art treasures are only part of the country’s growing assets as Qatar recently topped the list of fastest-growing luxury markets for 2014, it was revealed in a study by Ledbury Research, as the gas-rich state prepares to hold the 2022 World Cup. The Sheikha’s knowledge of the arts and the QMA’s efforts will help the state shine when all eyes are on Qatar as it hosts the world’s biggest sporting event.
Among Sheikha’s other prized possessions is “The Card Players” by Paul Cezanne, which was bought last year for a reported $250 million — the highest price paid for a painting ever. Her family has also spent heavily on works by Mark Rothko, Richard Serra, Roy Lichtenstein, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol, and Jeff Koons.
[Via – Telegraph]