Portrait of Marilyn Monroe by Warhol auctioned for $195 million

The iconic painting, entitled “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn”, thus becomes the second most expensive work in history sold at auction, behind “Salvator Mundi” attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.

A portrait of Marilyn Monroe made by Andy Warhol in 1964 was sold on Monday (05.09.2022) for 195 million dollars, at a Christie’s auction, smashing the record for a 20th century work held by “Les Femmes D’Alger ( version 0), a work by the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso.

The iconic painting, entitled “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” thus becomes the second most expensive work in history sold at auction, behind “Salvator Mundi” attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, for which its current owner, who according to the press is the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salmán, paid 450.3 million dollars in November 2017.

A person present in the packed hall of Christie’s headquarters in Rockefeller Plaza in New York took away this work by Warhol, which belonged to the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation of Zurich, Switzerland.

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Sold in a lot with 35 other works by artists such as Robert Ryman, Francesco Clemente, Sturtevant or Cy Twombly, among others, in addition to other Warhols, the foundation will dedicate the proceeds of the sale to health and education projects aimed at improving the lives of the smallest in the world.

The portrait of Marilyn Monroe unseats from the podium Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger (The Women of Algiers – version 0)”, which reached 179.4 million dollars in May 2015, followed by “Nude Lying Down” by Amedeo Modigliani sold for $170.4 million, also in 2015.

It also almost doubles the own record of a ‘warhol’, the “Silver Car Crash” (Double Disaster) for which 104.5 million were paid in 2013.

The new owner takes one of the “most important” works to come up for auction in a generation, and it is the “absolute pinnacle of American pop art,” recalled the president of the 20th and 21st century art section, Alex Rotter, when Christie’s announced its sale last March.

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