Francis Bacon was indeed obsessed with Popes and it appears to have paid off for some lucky fellow, at least:
A 50-year-old painting by Dublin-born artist Francis Bacon set an auction record for his work on Thursday when it was sold at Christie's for 14.02 million pounds ($27.56 million).
"Study For Portrait II," an oil on canvas work Bacon painted in late 1956, is one of Bacon's famed papal portraits.
It smashed the previous record of $15 million set in November at Sotheby's in New York for the work "Version No. 2 of Lying Figure With Hypodermic Syringe."
According to Christie's, Bacon painted more than 50 paintings of popes, beginning in 1946, and was obsessed by Diego Velazquez's 1650 "Portrait of Pope Innocent X."
I wonder who owned it: good time to sell I guess, with hte high oil price and all those Russian running around.