- "Three Studies of Lucian Freud," painted in 1969, sold for $142,405,000
- Christie's says it's the most money ever paid for a piece of artwork at an auction
- The previous record for a work of art sold at an auction was Edvard Munch's "The Scream"
- The sale was part of an auction with the highest sale total in history
A painting by artist Francis Bacon sold for $142,405,000 on Tuesday, breaking the record as the most expensive piece of art ever auctioned, according to a statement from the auction house.
"Three Studies of Lucian Freud" was sold after six minutes of bidding in the room and on the phone at Christie's in New York City, according to spokeswoman Elizabeth Van Bergen.
Painted in 1969, it is known as one of Bacon's most iconic works, as it features Lucian Freud at the apex of his relationship with Bacon, according to the auction house's statement.
The triptych, a three-panel piece of art, features Freud sitting on a wooden chair in varied positions, the statement said.
The painting was part of a record-breaking auction that grossed $691,583,000, the highest total for an auction sale in art market history, according to Christie's.
The sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art broke 10 auction records with three pieces sold for more than $50 million, 11 for over $20 million and 16 for over $10 million.
Jeff Koons's "Balloon Dog" fetched $58.4 million, a record for any piece of art sold at auction by a living artist.
The previous record for a work of art sold at an auction was Edvard Munch's "The Scream," painted in 1895. It sold for more than $119 million dollars in 2012 at Sotheby's New York, according to the statement.
Bacon's previous record for his work was more than $86 million for another triptych painted in 1976 and sold in 2008 at Sotheby's New York, according to the statement.