Pablo Picasso’s Women of Algiers (Version O) has beat out Francis Bacon’s triptych Three Studies of Lucian Freud to become the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction, breaking an art world record. Bacon’s triptych sold for $142.4 million at Christie’s in November 2013 and Picasso’s Women of Algiers (Version O) sold for $179 million at Christie’s this past week.
Women of Algiers, once owned by the American collectors Victor and Sally Ganz, was inspired by Picasso’s fascination with the 19th-century French artist Eugène Delacroix. It is part of a 15-work series Picasso created in 1954-1955 designated with the letters A to O. It has appeared in several major museum retrospectives of the artist.