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Francis Bacon painting could set auction record

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November 12, 2013 11:36 AM EST | AP


NEW YORK (AP) — A 1969 painting by Francis Bacon is poised to topple the $86 million auction record for the British artist.

"Three Studies of Lucian Freud" is being offered Tuesday at Christie's New York postwar and contemporary art sale. The work depicts Bacon's friend and artist.

His 1976 "Triptych" holds the current record, set in 2008.

It remains to be seen if "Three Studies" will top the nearly $120 million paid for Edvard Munch's "The Scream." It became the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction at a Sotheby's 2012 sale.

A bright orange-yellow and white painting by Mark Rothko titled "Untitled (No. 11)" could fetch up to $35 million. In May 2012, Christie's sold another Rothko, "Orange, Red, Yellow," for $86.8 million. It's a record for any contemporary artwork at auction.