Francis Bacon Painting Found 9 Years After Break-in

4 of 5 portraits stolen from subject's Madrid home have now been recovered
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2024 11:11 AM CDT
Stolen Francis Bacon Painting Recovered After 9 Years
Spanish police released this photo of the recovered Bacon painting.   (Policia Nacional)

Four down, one to go. Police in Spain say they have recovered one of five Francis Bacon portraits of Jose Capelo that were stolen from the banker's Madrid home in 2015. Another three were recovered in 2015. Police said the 1989 painting Study for Portrait of Jose Capelo was recovered in Madrid after two people suspected of involvement in the theft were arrested, the BBC reports. Another painting is still missing. The painting is worth an estimated $5.4 million; the combined value of the five paintings is around $27 million.

Police said a total of 16 people have been arrested in connection with the case, including the crime's mastermind and the burglars who broke into Moreno's home. In a news release, police said they are working to track down the fifth painting, focusing on Spanish citizens with links to Eastern European criminal gangs. Reuters describes the banker as a "friend and former lover" of Bacon, who died in Madrid in 1992 at age 82.

The Dublin-born painter is one of the "most highly regarded and sought-after artists of the 20th century," the Guardian reports. In 2013, his 1969 triptych Three Studies of Lucian Freud sold for a then-record $142.5 million. The Guardian notes that beyond his art, Bacon was known for his wild lifestyle, and his toast, "Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends." (More Francis Bacon stories.)

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