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A bleak self-portrait by the postwar British artist Francis Bacon will lead Sotheby’s upcoming Contemporary Art Evening Sale on February 10, 2015, in London. Two Studies for Self-Portrait (1977) is one of only three diptychs painted by Bacon after the death of his partner, George Dyer. Out of the three, it is the only one ever to be offered at auction. The other double self-portraits remain in private collections.

Another Bacon painting, Portrait of George Dyer Talking (1966), dominated last year’s contemporary art auctions in London. Offered by Christie’s, the painting fetched $70 million -- the highest price ever paid at auction for a single panel by the artist.

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The Frick Collection has always been rich in Spanish paintings, particularly works by Velázquez, El Greco and Goya. The museum’s founder, Henry Clay Frick, bought three canvases by El Greco on his travels to Spain, and they currently hang together as part of “El Greco in New York,” an exhibition organized in collaboration with the Frick, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Hispanic Society to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the artist’s death.

But in 1904, before Frick acquired any of these well-known paintings, he bought a self-portrait by the 17th-century Baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.

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One of the world's most famous self-portraits is going on rare public display in the northern Italian city of Turin. Very little is known about the 500-year-old, fragile, fading red chalk drawing of Leonardo da Vinci but some believe it has mystical powers.

There is a myth in Turin that the gaze of Leonardo da Vinci in this self-portrait is so intense that those who observe it are imbued with great strength.

Some say it was this magical power, not the cultural and economic value of the drawing, that led to it being secretly moved from Turin and taken to Rome during World War Two - heaven forbid it should ever fall into Hitler's hands and give him more power.

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A self-portrait by Pablo Picasso that was created in 1901, and has not previously been exhibited in public before, will go on display in central London this week. The exhibition will include works by Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, and great British painter Francis Bacon. The self-portrait by Picasso depicts the Spanish artist and sculptor at the age of 30, looking directly at the viewer while painting by candlelight.

The "Self" exhibition runs until 13 December at the Ordovas gallery, and features a number of works either not seen in public before - or for a considerable amount of time; including Francis Bacon's self-portrait, which is one of the artist's first studies of a single head.

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The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, celebrates the homecoming of one of its most famous and frequently borrowed art works, the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s “Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” (1940). The painting will be on display through March 31, 2015.

Since 1990 the painting has been featured in exhibitions in more than 25 museums in the United States and in countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Spain and Italy.

The painting was most recently on view at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome. The work travels next to The New York Botanical Garden for the exhibition “Frida Kahlo’s Garden,” running from May 16 to Nov. 1, 2015, in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s Rondina and LoFaro Gallery.

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The "Self Portrait" by Rubens that graces the Rubens House is being restored. Visitors wishing to view the painting should do so by 7 September 2014; after that, the painting will travel to the National Gallery in London for restoration. The work will return in 2015 for the exhibition "Rubens in Private: The Master Portrays His Family," after which it will resume its usual place in the gallery.

Rubens’ "Self Portrait" is one of the Rubens House’s most notable paintings. It is of iconic value to Antwerp and rarely leaves the museum. The painting will soon be restored for the upcoming exhibition "Rubens in Private: The Master Portrays His Family," which offers a glimpse of Rubens as his family’s portraitist. The works are the most beautiful and intimate portraits the master ever created. They were painted not on commission, but out of love, and served primarily as keepsakes. In 2015 these breathtaking works of art will be displayed together for the first time in the place where they belong: Rubens’ former home in Antwerp.

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The reclusive heiress Huguette Clark sold her first painting Wednesday, three years after her death at 104. She did okay, too, with two paintings of Fifth Avenue (as seen from a window of her Manhattan mansion) each going for $19,000 at a Christie’s auction in New York.

A self-portrait of the artist holding a palette went for $13,000, and Clark’s work titled “Cereus, night blooming cactus” fetched $6,000, our colleague Melinda Henneberger reports.

At least four descendants of Huguette’s father, billionaire copper baron and Montana senator William A. Clark, were among those bidding.

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A painting gifted to the National Trust has been verified as a genuine Rembrandt estimated to be worth £30m.

The self-portrait, which hangs in Devon's Buckland Abbey, had been the subject of debate over its authenticity, since 1968.

Eight months of investigative work at the Hamilton Kerr Institute (HKI) confirmed it was painted by Rembrandt.

The National Trust said extra security measures had been put in place as well as a specially created gallery.

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Scientists are close to deciding how to restore a fading chalk sketch believed to be the only existing self-portrait by Leonardo da Vinci, following a hi-tech study of the paper.

The portrait, thought to be more than 400 years old, remains locked in a vault in the Royal Library of Turin, Italy, where it is believed to be gradually vanishing as the red-chalk image blends against the ageing yellow paper.

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Thursday, 08 May 2014 09:15

Postwar Painter Maria Lassnig has Died

Austrian artist Maria Lassnig, whose brushy, psychologically tense, sometimes darkly comic paintings affected generations of artists over the course of her 70-plus-year career, died today at a hospital in Vienna. She was 94. Her death was confirmed by one of her galleries, Hauser and Wirth, and has been reported in the European press. She has no immediate survivors.

Lone figures typically occupy Ms. Lassnig’s paintings, often partially disfigured or abstracted and in the midst of all kinds of unspeakable mental and emotional trauma. Many are chilling, fleshy self-portraits. In one a plastic bag covers her head, in another she holds a gun up to her temple. A survey of them now on view at MoMA PS1 shows that, though tastes changed, her core devotion to her unflinching practice did not.

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