A portrait of the Bradford-born pop-art icon, David Hockney, painted by his friend and fellow artist Lucian Freud has fetched £15million at an auction.
The oil painting came with an estimate of £12m when it went to auction at Sotheby’s in London, but it quickly surpassed that figure and ended up adding £3m onto the price, following a tense four-way bidding battle.
When the portrait was first painted almost 20 years ago, Hockney himself tried to purchase it. However, since then it has been in private hands.
While £15m might sound like an astronomical figure, it is only his sixth most expensive work. Back in 2015, his life-size nude depiction entitled Benefits Supervisor Resting secured a whopping £35m at a New York auction.
Freud, who died in 2011 aged 88, painted the portrait over 100 hours’ worth of sittings in 2002 and it is owing to this that the value of the art is attained. The painting is considered by some critics to be the greatest peer-to-peer portrait ever painted.
Hockney said of the picture, “It was a very memorable and enjoyable experience. I thought his portrait very good indeed – all the hours I sat were layered into it; he had always added, rarely taken anything away. It really shows.”