Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich bought two paintings that were sold at record-breaking auctions last week, according to reports.
Lucian Freud’s Benefits Supervisor Sleeping sold for Â£17.2m on Tuesday, followed by Francis Bacon’s Triptych, which fetched Â£43m just 24 hours later.
The Art Newspaper quoted sources saying the London-based Russian billionaire was the buyer of both paintings.
A spokesman for Mr Abramovich declined to comment.
He said: “We don’t get into personal matters.”
The life-sized Freud painting of a sleeping, naked woman, titled Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, sold for $33.6m (Â£17.2m) at Christie’s in New York.
Christie’s described the work, which shows Jobcentre supervisor Sue Tilley asleep on a sofa, as a “bold and imposing example of the stark power of Freud’s realism”.
It set a new world record price for a work by a living artist.
Sue Tilley commented “Just because I took my clothes off for Lucian Freud, that doesn’t mean I’m a nudist or a floozy or whatever,’ .Tilley is the subject of Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, which broke auction house records for any living artist last week, when it sold for Â£17m at Christie’s International in New York.
Then another Sunday tabloid rang me up. And she was really turning it on. “Oh, we want you to recreate iconic nude poses,” she said, ‘like American Beauty. You know, the one with all the petals.”
She has modestly concealed her other talents .She is the author of a biography on her late friend Leigh Bowery, the performance artist and exhibitionist who started the infamous polysexual Thursday disco club night, Taboo, where she worked as a cashier. It was Leigh who introduced her to Freud. The film rights have been sold and Tilley has been given the grand title of ‘executive producer’. ‘I’ve no idea when it will get made,’ she said. ‘It can take years, can’t it?”Give me a break. Do you think I’m going to do that? I’d look absolutely ridiculous. But she wouldn’t give up. Oh no. “What about iconic Marilyn Monroe, with the white pleated skirt flying up?” Nope, don’t think so. “Or Audrey Hepburn?” I think she was getting a bit desperate by then