Freud work sets new world record (video)

Other News Materials 14 May 2008 12:31 (UTC +04:00)

A life-sized Lucian Freud painting of a sleeping, naked woman has set a new world record price for a work by a living artist, reported BBC.

The 1995 portrait, entitled Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, sold for $33.6 million (£17.2 million).

The sale, held by auction house Christie's, took place at the Rockefeller Center, New York.

The previous record was held by Jeff Koons' Hanging Heart, which fetched $23.5 million (£12.1 million).

The painting, appearing at an auction for the first time, depicts Jobcentre supervisor Sue Tilley, now 51, sleeping on a dilapidated sofa.

Christie's described the work as a "bold and imposing example of the stark power of Freud's realism".

Ms Tilley, nicknamed "Big Sue", was introduced to the painter, now 85, by the Australian performance artist Leigh Bowery.

She posed for Freud for four years in the early 1990s, and has said in the past of being his muse: "I think he probably picked me because he got value for money. He got a lot of flesh."

The previous auction record as far as a Freud painting is concerned was $19.3 million (£9.9 million), set in November 2007 for his 1992 work IB and Her Husband.