Francis Bacon's large-format triptych inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus is scheduled to highlight Sotheby’s contemporary art evening sale in New York on May 13.
Sotheby’s plans to make final decisions about each event about 30 days before the scheduled sale date so at this point the auction is going ahead.
Bacon’s 1981 triptych (one of 28 large-format works created between 1962 and 1991) will be offered with an estimate north of $60m (€55m).
The Oresteia is the most famous Aeschylus trilogy. In the classical text, Clytemnestra murders her husband Agamemnon in revenge for the sacrifice of their daughter Iphigenia.
When their son Orestes finds out, he kills his mother to avenge his father’s death, provoking the avenging Furies who drive Orestes insane as a punishment.
Sotheby’s say Bacon’s work, inspired by the theme of divine punishment, reveals the entire range of an iconography developed over three decades of painting.