Las Vegas, 22 January 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA).
On 12 November 2013, Three Studies of Lucian Freud (1969) by Francis Bacon became the most expensive artwork ever to be sold at public auction, realising $127 million before fees. At $120 million, there were still three bidders, before the work was finally won by William Acquavella, for a client who wished to remain anonymous.
Immediately, wild speculation followed as to who the owner of the triptych, one of only two complete triptychs created by Bacon of Freud, was. Now Elaine Wynn, the collector Stephen A. Wynn’s ex-wife, has been identified as the buyer of the piece. The couple, who divorced in 2010, founded a gambling empire in Las Vegas in the 1990s. Elaine Wynn’s fortune has been estimated at $1.9 billion by Forbes magazine. Both Stephen and Elaine Wynn are known for their passion for art: Matisse and Degas pieces have been exhibited in their casinos, and Stephen A. Wynn is a renowned collector.
Three Studies of Lucian Freud was recently loaned to the Portland Museum of Art, whose curator, Bruce Guenther, managed to identify Elaine Wynn. The triptych has been exhibited in the museum since 21 December 2013, and is to stay on display there until 30 March 2014.