Pop artist Andy Warhol’s famous 1964 screen-printed portrait of Marilyn Monroe sold for $195 million at auction on Monday, a record for a work by an American artist sold at auction.
“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” is one of a series of portraits Warhol made of the actress after her death in 1962 and has since become one of the best-known works of pop art.
Held in the collection of Swiss art dealers Thomas and Doris Ammann, it was sold by Christie’s at auction in New York. Pre-sale estimates had reached $200 million.
The painting sold for a hammer price of $170 million. Additional fees gave it a final price of $195 million.
The sale broke the previous record for a US artwork at auction of $110.5 million set in 2017 for a 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat.
“‘Shot Sage Blue Marilyn’ is the absolute pinnacle of American pop,” Alex Rotter, president of 20th and 21st century art at Christie’s, said in a statement announcing the auction. “The painting transcends the genre of portraiture, replacing the art and culture of the 20th century.”
The painting is based on a promotional photo of Monroe from the 1953 film “Niagara,” projected in bright colors onto her eyes, hair and lips.
Monroe was one of Hollywood’s best-known stars before her overdose death at her Los Angeles home on August 4, 1962.
Warhol died in 1987. (Reuters)