Andy Warhol's 'iconic' portrait of Marilyn Monroe sells for $195 million - a new record

Andy Warhol’s ‘iconic’ portrait of Marilyn Monroe sells for $195 million – a new record

Christie’s Americas President Marc Porter (L) looks on as Christie’s President, 20th and 21st Century Art Alex Rotter announces that Christie’s will donate Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn painting of Marilyn Monroe during its week May Sale at Christie’s on March 21, 2022 in New York City. The work goes to Christie’s of the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation in Zurich and all proceeds from the sale will benefit the foundation.

It’s deleted/Getty Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Shot Sage Blue

As expected, an iconic Andy Warhol portrait of Marilyn Monroe has set a new record, becoming the most expensive 20th-century work of art ever sold at auction.

Monday night, “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” by Warholsold for $195 million, Christie’s announced in a press release. Ahead of the sale, the auction house said the screen-printed piece had an estimated value of around $200 million.

The portrait had recently belonged to the late art dealer Thomas Ammann, and the proceeds from the sale will be “generously donated by the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation to benefit charities providing urgent medical and educational services to children”, according to Christie’s .

In addition, the buyer – who was not named by the auction house – was asked to “name the charities to which 20% of the work’s proceeds will be allocated”.

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Blow Sage Blue Marilyn is one of the rarest and most transcendent images in existence,” Christie’s previously said of the 40-inch work, which Warhol painted two years after Monroe’s death.

The 1964 artwork – based on a promotional photograph from the 1953 film niagara – is part of a set of four other portraits of the late actress, each of which features a different color for its background.

Andy Warhol's Marilyn

Andy Warhol’s Marilyn

It’s deleted/Getty Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Shot Sage Blue

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Monday’s sale was billed as a “historic night for Christie’s and for the entire contemporary art market”. Alex Rotter, Christie’s president for 20th and 21st century art, said in a statement.

“The record sale of Warhol’s iconic portrait of Marilyn from the collection of Thomas and Doris Ammann speaks to the strength, vibrancy and general excitement of the art market today,” Rotter said. “This sale demonstrates the ubiquitous power of Andy Warhol as well as the lasting legacy he continues to leave in the world of art, popular culture and society.”

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Until Monday’s sale, the 2015 purchase of Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O)” for $179.4 million had the honor of being the work of art of the 20th century. most expensive century sold at auction, according to CNN.

“It’s the Mount Everest of its day,” Andrew Fabricator, the managing director of Gagosian Galleries and one of the wealthy’s top dealers, told CNBC of “Marilyn” ahead of Monday’s auction.

“It was a once-in-a-generation chance,” Fabricator added. “Pieces like this just don’t come around that often.”

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