Freud’s Lounging Naked Civil Servant Sells for $56.2 Million

Lucian Freud's
Lucian Freud's "Benefits Supervisor Resting," a painting of a fleshy naked British civil servant, sold for $56.2 million at Christie's in New York. Source: Christie's via Bloomberg

A Lucian Freud painting of a fleshy naked British civil servant sold for $56.2 million at Christie’s, an auction record for the artist.

“Benefits Supervisor Resting,” a portrait of a 280-pound civil servant named Sue, had a presale estimate of $30 million to $50 million. Freud, a British painter who preferred portraits of regular people, died in 2011.

In 2008, “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping,” another portrait of Sue, sold for $33.6 million -- the highest price ever at the time for a work by a living artist.

Earlier in the sale, Andy Warhol’s “Colored Mona Lisa” also sold for $56.2 million and Francis Bacon’s “Portrait of Henrietta Moraes” fetched $47.8 million.

At a hybrid Christie’s auction on May 11, Pablo Picasso’s painting, “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘‘O’’),” fetched $179.4 million, the most expensive artwork at auction.

Christie’s postwar and contemporary art evening sale is continuing.

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