Lucian Freud’s Portrait of David Hockney at the Head of Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary Art Auction in London, Estimated at Over $ 11 Million | Auction news | THE VALUE



Scheduled for June 29, Sotheby’s British Art Evening Sale: Modern / Contemporary in London will be led by a portrait of David Hockney by Lucian Freud. The two titans of British art have come together in a single work of art, which debuts at auction and is valued at over £ 8million (US $ 11.1million).

The marquee sale will offer a total of 33 lots which will trace the development of modern and contemporary British art, including an array of world-renowned masters and lesser-known artists.

Lot 10 | Lucien Freud, David Hockney

Painted in 2002
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 40.6 x 31.1 cm

  • Acquavella Galleries, New York
  • Private collection, New York
  • Acquired from it by the current owner

Estimate: £ 8,000,000 – 12,000,000

This Lucian Freud painting is a meeting of minds that lasted 40 years of admiration shared between the two influential British artists of the 20th century, Lucian Freud and David Hockney.

Painted in 2002, when Freud was 80 and Hockney was 65, the peer-to-peer portrait provides a fascinating window into the tale of an episodic friendship spanning centuries. Over the course of four months in the summer of 2002, and over a hundred sitting hours, the result was a private exchange between artist and model.

Lucian Freud (right) and David Hockney (left), photographed by Freud’s assistant David Dawson in 2002

Let’s take a closer look at this book, titled David Hockney

The portrait captures Hockney’s face up close, in thoughtful rest. Looking over his round glasses as if he was the artist looking at his subject. Her face dominates the canvas and the brushstrokes forge a lot of energy and a conversation with the viewer.

Unseen to the public since Freud’s exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas in 2012, the work is making its auction debut, where it will be offered with an estimate of 8 to 12 million dollars. pounds (US $ 11.1 million – $ 16.7 million).

Born in Berlin in 1922, Freud is known for his evocative portraits marked by an application of thick paint. Painting first those who were in his entourage, a traveling retrospective of 1987 catapulted him to international fame. He subsequently produced a number of high profile portraits, including that of Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 and 2001.

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Lucian Freud | Royal Collection (Buckingham Palace), London

Lot 15 | Peter Doig, Blue mountain

Painted in 1996
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 200 x 274.9 cm

  • Gavin Brown Company, New York
  • Acquired from it by the current owner in 1996

Estimate: £ 5,000,000 – £ 7,000,000

This work by contemporary Scottish artist Peter Doig depicts an expanse of snow-capped mountain seen from afar. The point of view soars dizzyingly over the edge of a precipice and the white snow sparkles in a palette of iridescent and almost mind-blowing colors, in the form of patches of ice that appear purple and the altitude light turned pink in the middle of a turquoise canvas.

The Edinburgh-born artist spent his childhood between Scotland, the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Canada. Snow and Canadian landscapes are among the most recurring subjects in Doig’s works of the early 1990s, including the current monumental monument which measures 200 by 274.9 cm, one of his largest stage works. of snow.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Adoration of the Magi in the Snow (1567)

Doig once spoke about his visual repertoire: “When I was doing the paintings on snow, I was looking at Monet, where there’s this incredibly extreme and seemingly exaggerated use of color,” he said. Another artistic influence comes from one of his favorite paintings, The Adoration of the Magi in the Snow (1567) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, who inspired him in particular in the treatment of snow and its technique.

Lot 8 | Peter Doig, Bomb Island

Painted in 1991
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 200 x 302.8 cm

  • Victoria Miro Gallery, London
  • Acquired from it by the current owner in 1995

Estimate: £ 3,000,000 – £ 5,000,000

Another atmospheric work by Doig and is expected to make between £ 3-5million (US $ 4.2million – US $ 7million), Bomb Island depicts an abandoned island surrounded by an expanse of dark and murky waters. The arid landscape creates an undefined narrative in a charged atmosphere.

The looming presence of the ravaged island invites comparison with Arnold Böcklin’s disturbing Symbolist masterpiece Die Toteninsel. The architectural detail on the other hand recalls the landscape of the consumed imaginary world of Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Tower of Babel.

that of Arnold Böcklin Die Toteninsel (1880) | Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Tower of Babel

Lot 9 | David Hockney, The chair

Patinated in 1985
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 122 x 91 cm

  • André Emmerich Gallery, New York
  • Nohra Haime Gallery, New York (acquired from the previous one in 1994)
  • Acquired from it by the current owner

Estimate: £ 2,000,000 – £ 3,000,000

Filled with a liberating zest that often defines Hockney’s pictorial approach, but merges with an eloquent homage to masters of the past such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Pablo Picasso, The chair encapsulates vitality through a vibrant palette: the blue and brownish red of the chair meet the bright orange and yellow hues of the floor that flatten the image plane to make room for the empty chair – a familiar motif in the work by Hockney.

Hockney has long been considered one of the most prolific artists of the 20th century. The artist is best known for his landscapes, still lifes and portraits. Having worked with mediums ranging from oil to acrylic to iPads more recently, Hockney often questions the rules of proportion, linear perspective and color theory.

Lot 13 | Laurence Stephen Lowry, RA, Go to the match

Painted in 1928
Oil on canvas

  • Without frame: 43 x 53.5 cm
  • Framed: 70 x 80 cm


  • Private collection, United Kingdom, of which acquired by Crane Kalman Gallery, London in 1970
  • Acquired from it by the current owners in May 1972

Estimate: £ 2,000,000 – £ 3,000,000

Lowry’s Going to the Match captures a crowd walking past gray factories and a swollen chimney on a cold, dull day. This work is one of the earliest examples of the artist’s work, which fully demonstrates his fascination with the movement of people – a subject that has developed throughout his career.

Focus on current work

The rugby league match was the first sporting subject in Lowry’s work. The athletic crowd, rather than the game, takes center stage in his works, as artists viewed match days as an ideal opportunity to paint crowds in action. Individual figures are drawn among the figures forming the crowd across the canvas.

Lowry’s artistic approach goes beyond a photographic rendering of a match but to project an honest and lasting garment – a garment that transcends time and feels relevant. “I maintain – by observation – that if you see a crowd of people coming from a football game, they look exactly the same as they did 50 years ago. I am convinced of it, ”said the artist.

Other highlights of the sale include:

Lot 17 | Edouard Burra, War in the sun

Painted in 1938
Pencil, ink and watercolor on paper

  • Without frame: 112 x 156 cm
  • Framed: 133.5 x 179 cm


  • Gerald Corcoran, Esq., London, of which acquired by The Rt Hon the Lord Walston, CVO, circa 1945
  • Its sale, Sotheby’s London, May 13, 1992, lot 49, where acquired by a private collector
  • Lefevre Fine Art, London, of which acquired by the current owner in 2005

Estimate: £ 1,800,000 – £ 2,500,000

Lot 4 | David Hockney, Gladioli with two oranges

Painted in 1996
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 65.4 x 81.2 cm

  • Annely Juda Fine Art, London
  • Acquired from it by the late owner in 1997

Estimate: £ 1,500,000 – £ 2,000,000

Lot 38 | Bank, Girl with balloon

Executed in 2003
Spray paint on canvas
Number 24 from an edition of 25
Dimensions: 40.5 x 40.5 cm

  • Kindit Ltd T / AS PYMCA, London
  • Acquired from it by the current owner in March 2004

Estimate: £ 1,000,000 – £ 1,500,000

Lot 31 | Ben Nicholson, Painting 1935

Painted in 1935
Oil on canvas

  • Without frame: 63 x 93.5 cm
  • Framed: 66.5 x 98 cm


  • Sir John Leslie Martin
  • Waddington Galleries, London
  • Annely Juda Fine Art, London, 1976
  • CHASA Holdings (Jersey) Ltd., 1976
  • Annely Juda Fine Art, London, 1979
  • Waddington Galleries, London, 1979
  • Annely Juda Fine Art, London, 1983
  • Private collection, Hamburg
  • Annely Juda Fine Art, London, 2010, where acquired by the current owner

Estimate: £ 700,000 – 900,000

Lot 28 | Damien Hirst, Biotin-propranolol analog

Executed in 1995
Household gloss on canvas
Dimensions: 335.3 x 518.2 cm

  • White Cube, London
  • Acquired from it by the current owner in 1996

Estimate: £ 650,000 – 850,000


Dates: June 22 – 29, 2021

Auction Details:

Auction house: Sotheby’s London
Dates: June 29, 2021
Sale: British Art Evening Sale: Modern / Contemporary


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