An iconic portrait of Marilyn Monroe by American pop artist Andy Warhol has sold for a record $195 million at a Christie’s auction in New York on May 9.
The 1964 “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” sold for exactly $195.04 million, including fees, becoming the most expensive 20-th century artwork ever sold at a public auction.
The sale broke the previous record held by Pablo Picasso’s “Women of Algiers,” which was sold for $179.4 million in 2015.
The sale also broke the record for an American artwork at an auction, previously held by Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 painting, which was sold for $110.5 million in 2017.
The auction house had initially placed pre-sale estimates “in the region of” $200 million.
Alex Rotter, Christie’s chairman of 20th and 21st-century art, described Warhol’s portrait of the iconic Hollywood star as “the absolute pinnacle of American Pop” and “the most significant 20th-century painting to come to auction in a generation.”
The artwork is a silk-screen portrait of Marilyn and is one of the series of portraits that Warhol made of the actress after her death in 1962.
The 40-square-inch portrait has previously been featured at galleries including the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and Tate Modern in London.
Thomas and Doris Amman Foundation Zurich, a charitable organization, offered the artwork for auction to use the proceeds to fund health and education programs for children worldwide.
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