Spanish police recover fourth stolen Francis Bacon painting, valued at $5.4M

Spanish police say they have recovered the fourth of five paintings by Irish-born painter Francis Bacon that were stolen from a Madrid apartment in 2015.

A police statement Thursday said the 1989 painting of a man’s head, titled on the back as “Study for Portrait of José Capelo,” is valued at $5.4 million. 

It was recovered following the arrest in February of two people suspected of having received two of the five works by Bacon.


The five paintings stolen were said then to be worth a total of 25 million euros. They were part of a collection owned by a close friend of Bacon, who reported the robbery to police in July 2015.

Police said 16 people, including the thieves, have been arrested since investigations began. The statement said police are continuing the search for the fifth painting and are focusing investigations on Spaniards with connections with criminal gangs from Eastern Europe.

Bacon often visited Madrid, where he spent time studying old master paintings in the Prado Museum. He died in the Spanish capital in 1992, aged 82.

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