Entertainment & Arts

Lucian Freud nude sale sets new record for artist

Benefits Supervisor Resting by Lucian Freud Image copyright EPA
Image caption Benefits Supervisor Resting depicts Freud's sometime muse Sue Tilley

A life-sized nude by Lucian Freud has been sold at auction in New York for $56.2m (£35.6m), setting a new record for the late British painter.

The piece, Benefits Supervisor Resting, was one of four portraits Freud made of the ample-figured Sue Tilley.

Another, Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, sold for $33.6m (£21.2m) in 2008.

Freud, a grandson of the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and one of Britain's most highly regarded artists, died in 2011 at the age of 88.

When Benefits Supervisor Sleeping sold seven years ago, it set a new world record price for a work by a living artist.

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Media captionLucian Freud's muse Sue Tilley talks to BBC Breakfast in 2011

Tilley, who became widely known as Big Sue, was paid £20 a day to sit for the artist in the early 1990s.

Wednesday's sale at Christie's saw another nude, by Freud's contemporary Francis Bacon, sell for $44.7m (£28.3m).

The event also saw an untitled abstract by the late US painter Cy Twombly fetch $42.7m (£27m).

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