'Boy's Head' By Lucian Freud Sells For $5.03 Million At Auction

10/14/2011 08:32 am ET | Updated Dec 14, 2011
  • AP/The Huffington Post

LONDON — A small painting by the late Lucian Freud has sold for 3.2 million pounds ($5.03 million) at auction in London.

Sotheby's says "Boy's Head," a work from 1952 depicting Freud's neighbor and recognizable subject Charlie Lumley, was sold below pre-sale estimates suggesting it could go for up to 4 million pounds ($6.3 million).

Sotheby's said Friday "Boy's Head" was sold to an anonymous bidder Thursday night at the auction house.

In an interview with Sotheby's, Lumley, 79, spoke about how he had to watch over Freud because those close to him (like Francis Bacon) feared he was suicidal over his relationship with Lady Caroline Blackwood. He also noted that Freud would paint him after long nights out clubbing together.

Freud, who died in July, was considered one of the world's greatest painters. He was the grandson of Sigmund Freud.

His paintings command staggering prices at auction, including one of an overweight nude woman sleeping on a couch that sold in 2008 for $33.6 million – a record for a living artist at the time.