Bacon rent set to reach £9m in auction

  • 4 September 2007

A painting by Francis Bacon is expected to fetch £9 million when it is put up for sale by the Royal College of Art.

Bacon had given a painting to the RCA to rent one of the college’s studios in 1969, after his own had burned down.

The original payment had been made with Study For Bullfight No1, but six years later, when Bacon had wanted to exhibit the work, he exchanged it for Study From The Human Body, Man Turning On The Light.

The college plans to sell the painting and use the cash for a new campus in south London. An RCA spokeswoman called the original exchange “the greatest rent deal in history”, adding: “We have done very well out of it.

“I don’t think there was a formal deal about rent. Bacon was very grateful and offered us a painting when he moved out.”

The auction will be held on October 14 – if the £9 million is reached, it will pay for a quarter of the college development.

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