A portrait of David Hockney by Lucian Freud offered at Sotheby’s in London throughout a British fashionable artwork night sale on Tuesday for £14.9 million ($20.7 million) with purchaser’s premium. The portrait is now the sixth-most costly work by Freud to ever promote at public sale. Each Freud and Hockney are amongst Britain’s most acclaimed artists.

5 telephone bidders from New York, London and Asia competed for the work. The work hammered at £12.8 million ($17.7 million), placing the ultimate sum simply above its £12 million ($16.6 million) excessive estimate. It went to a collector based mostly in London bidding on the telephone with Sotheby’s London modern artwork specialist James Sevier.

The portrait, painted in 2002, was exhibited in Freud’s 2012 retrospective on the Nationwide Portrait Gallery in London. On the time it was painted, Freud was 80 years previous, and Hockney was 65. It depicts a close-up of Hockney’s face; the artist seems to be mid-thought whereas looking towards the viewer.

The vendor of the work, who went unnamed by the home, bought it from an American collector in 2015. The earlier proprietor purchased it privately from Freud’s supplier, Acquavella Galleries, in 2003 for a reported asking value of £3 million.

The 2 artists first met in 1962, when Freud was already well-established and Hockney was nonetheless a scholar. For the portray, Hockey sat for over 100 hours throughout the course of 4 months within the run-up to Freud’s showcase on the Tate Britain. “All of the hours I sat have been layered into it; he had all the time added, not often taken something away,” Hockney stated of the finished work in a tribute to Freud in 2011, the 12 months the artist died.

Work by Freud are scarcely traded at public sale, and after they do head to sale, they sometimes appeal to massive sums. The portrait of Hockney remains to be nicely beneath the present public sale benchmark for Freud, which was set in Might 2015 when his portray of a reclining nude Advantages Supervisor Resting (1994) offered at Christie’s for $56 million.

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