Andy Warhol’s famous 1964 silk-screen painting of Marilyn Monroe has fetched $195 million at auction, a new high for an American artist’s work.
Following her death in 1962, Warhol painted a series of portraits of the actress, including Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, which has since become one of pop art’s most well-known works.
It was auctioned by Christie’s in New York on Monday after being in the collection of Swiss art dealers Thomas and Doris Ammann. Pre-sale projections were as high as $200 million.
The picture fetched $170 million at auction. The total cost was $195 million after fees.
The sale shattered the previous auction record of $110.5 million set in 2017 for a 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat.
In a statement announcing the sale, Alex Rotter, Christie’s head of 20th and 21st Century art, said, “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is the absolute apex of American pop.” “The painting goes beyond portraiture, transcending twentieth-century art and culture.”
The painting is based on a promotional photo of Monroe from the 1953 film Niagara, which was colorized over her eyes, hair, and lips.
Shot Sage Blue Marilyn was not hit by a bullet in an incident in which a lady fired a pistol at a stack of four Marilyn images at Warhol’s workshop.
Monroe was a well-known Hollywood star before passing away on August 4, 1962, from an overdose at her Los Angeles home.
Warhol passed away in 1987.