The auctioned screenprint portrait of the actress is part of a series of several similar portraits that Warhol created after the actress died in 1962. Over the years, it has become a symbol of the entire art movement commonly known as pop art. The information was brought by the British portal The Guardian.
The portrait was put up for auction by Swiss art dealers Thomas and Doris Ammann, and pre-auction estimates estimated that the amount could climb up to two hundred million US dollars. The final amount for which the painting was auctioned was 170 million, with auction fees eventually amounting to 195 million.
Monday’s sale of Warhol’s iconic work surpassed the previous record of a twentieth-century artist held by Picasso’s 1955 painting from the Algerian series, which auctioned the hall for $ 179.4 million (CZK 4.1 billion), including fees in 2015. Warhol’s Marilyn also became the most expensive work of an American artist of the 20th century in auction history on Monday. It surpassed the current record of the sale of the work of the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, for which the applicant paid 110.5 million (2.5 billion CZK) in 2017.
“This work by Warhol is the pinnacle of American pop art,” said Alex Rotter, a collection and twenty-first-century collection manager during the auction. “The work goes far beyond the genre of portrait and embodies the entire culture and art of the twentieth century,” he added.
Warhol created the portrait based on a promo photo of the actress, which the film studio published for the screening of her film Niagara from 1953, the artist applied bright colors to her eyes, hair and lips. The work is nicknamed “Unbeaten Blue Marilyn”, the title refers to an incident when one of the visitors to Warhol’s studio pulled out a gun and covered several other portraits. However, the bullets missed this work.
Marilyn Monroe is one of Hollywood’s acting icons, found dead after a drug overdose in August 1962. Andy Warhol died in 1987, concludes The Guardian.