Andy Warhol’s painting ‘Shot Sage Blue Marilyn’ – one in a series of five portraits the artist made of American actress Marilyn Monroe after her death in 1962, fetched $195 million at Christie’s auction last night.
A 1964 artwork by a leading figure in the pop art movement, was created by using a promotional photo of the actress and applying different color schemes.
‘Shot Sage Blue Marilyn’ was one in a series of five portraits of the legendary actress and is now the most expensive piece of American art ever and the most a 20th-century work has fetched at a public auction.
The word ‘shot’ in the title refers to a shooting that happened at Warhol’s studio shortly after the works were completed. Four of the five paintings in the series were damaged, but this ended up adding millions to the price.
The portrait, which was described by Christie’s as “the absolute pinnacle of American Pop,” sold slightly below the $200 million estimate. The Warhol canvas surpassed the previous record set by a painting by Pablo Picasso, which went for nearly $180 million in 2015.
The Monroe portrait sold on Monday belonged to the family of a Swiss art dealer who said that the proceeds from the sale would go to charity. The identity of the buyer was not revealed.