Portland First to Exhibit Bacon Triptych

The Portland Art Museum in Oregon announced on Monday afternoon that the world’s most expensive painting ever sold at auction — Francis Bacon’s triptych “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” — which brought $142.4 million at Christie’s in November, will be on view there from Dec. 21 through March 30th.

Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network will attend the first-ever public exhibition of this astounding assemblage.

While the whole world was trying to determine who bought the Bacon, Bruce Guenther, the museum’s chief curator, succeeded where others had failed by putting out feelers out in the financial world.

“I thought the triptych would be great for our masterworks series,’’ he explained. He was able to locate the buyer, who agreed to the loan. While Mr. Guenther declined to name him, he did say that he is from the West Coast.

The bottom of the museum’s announcement said, “This special installation is made possible in part through the support of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation,’’ leading many to conclude that Mr. Allen, the cofounder of Microsoft (and a major art collector), bought the triptych.

However, Mr. Guenther and Ashley Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Allen Family Foundation, denied that. (Ms. Wilson did say that the foundation has given the museum a three-year $180,000 grant to support contemporary art exhibitions there.)

It is widely rumored that the triptych was purchased by the ruling family of Qatar for display in their national museum { AK Files 1 December, 2013}.

The Bacon triptych will join a roster of classic painters including Titian, Raphael and Thomas Moran that have been included in its Masterworks series, now in its fifth year.

Depicting Bacon’s friend and rival, the artist Lucian Freud, perched on a wooden chair against a background of bright orange, the 1969 triptych is one of only two existing full-length triptychs of Freud and was included in the Bacon retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1971-72.