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Francis Bacon painting of burglar who broke into his house sells for 42m Pound

London auction house sells 6ft tall canvas to anonymous buyer for 10 times the amount it was bought for 14 years ago. A painting by Francis Bacon of a burglar he caught breaking into his house who went on to become his lover has been sold at auction in London for £42m.

The Portrait of George Dyer Talking was bought by an anonymous telephone buyer on Thursday at Christie's in London.

The auction house said it was the most valuable work of art it had sold in Europe – but it is the 44th most expensive painting sold worldwide. Dyer became Bacon's lover and the subject of many of his paintings. He killed himself in Paris in 1971 as his image was displayed in the city's Grand Palais.

The 6ft tall painting, created in 1966, is believed to have been sold by Mexican banker David Martínez Guzmán. It last appeared on the open market in 2000, when it sold for £4m at Christie's in New York.

 

The world's most expensive painting is The Card Players by Paul Cézanne, which was sold by George Embiricos to Qatar in a private sale in 2011 for £162m.