The screen print of the Hollywood screen icon breaks the record set for 20th-century work by Picasso’s Women of Algiers in 2015.
Pop artist Andy Warhol’s famous 1964 screen-printed portrait of Marilyn Monroe sold for $195 million, becoming the most expensive 20th-century work of art ever sold at public auction.
Marilyn Blue Sage Shot it is one of a series of portraits Warhol made of the actress after her death in 1962 and has become one of the best-known works of pop art.
It sold for exactly $195.04 million, including fees, in just four minutes in a packed room at Christie’s headquarters in New York on Monday. His estimate was $200 million.
“‘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 sale broke the previous record for a 20th-century work, that of Pablo Picasso Women of Algierswhich sold for $179.4 million in 2015.
Warhol based the work on a promotional photo of Monroe from the 1953 film Niagara, layering bright colors over her eyes, hair, and lips.
Warhol died in 1987.