Lucian Freud painting fetches $29 million at auction

LONDON (Reuters) - A nude painting by Lucian Freud has sold for $29 million dollars at auction, the highest price paid for one of the British figurative artist’s works in London, according to auction house Sotheby’s.

Freud, who died in 2011, painted “Portrait on a White Cover” when he was 80 years old. The work represents Tate publishing employee Sophie Lawrence, whom Freud met when she worked on a retrospective of his career in 2002.

Ahead of Tuesday’s sale during which the painting fetched 22.5 million pounds, Lawrence was quoted by Sotheby’s as saying: “I wouldn’t have done it for anyone else, but he is one of the best artists who has ever lived.”

“It was incredibly intimidating, but he made me feel at ease. He was very good at building a rapport with people. I was very fond of him.”

Freud, who was born in Berlin, was known for his portraits, including reclining nudes. He famously painted a nude portrait of model Kate Moss when she was pregnant.

Reporting By Reuters Television; Editing by Toby Chopra