Andy Warhol’s famous portrait of Marilyn Monroe sold for $ 170 million ($ 243 million), a record for an American artist’s work sold at auction.
The Sage Blue Marilyn shot is one in a series of portraits made by Warhol with the actress after her death in 1962, and has since become one of the most famous works of pop art.
Stored in the collection of Swiss art dealers Thomas and Doris Oman, it was sold by Christie’s at auction in New York on Monday. Estimates before the sale reached $ 200 million.
The sale broke the previous record of American artwork at auction of $ 110.5 million, set in 2017 for Jean-Michel Basque’s 1982 painting.
“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is the absolute pinnacle of American pop music,” said Alex Rother, chairman of Christie’s 20th and 21st Century Arts Department, in a statement announcing the auction.
“Painting goes beyond the genre of portraiture, replacing the art and culture of the twentieth century.”
The picture is based on Monroe’s promotional photo from the 1953 film “Niagara”, shown with bright colors on her eyes, hair and lips.
Its name refers to an incident in which a woman fired a handgun at a stack of four Marilyn portraits in Warhol’s studio, although Sage Blue Marilyn was not hit by a bullet.
Monroe was one of Hollywood’s most famous stars until her death from an overdose at her home in Los Angeles on August 4, 1962.
Warhol died in 1987.