A portrait of American actress Marilyn Monroe raised $195 million (more than 184 million euros) at auction at Christie’s auction house on Monday. Andy Warhol is the creator of the work. This is the highest ever auction proceeds for an American work of art and for a 20th century work of art.
Moreover, it is the second most expensive painting of all time, after Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi. Converted, this painting brought in more than 425 million euros.
The previous record for an American work of art was held by a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat from 1982. At an auction in 2017, this work sold for more than 100 million euros. The most expensive painting of the 20th century was previously a work of art by Pablo Picasso entitled The Women of Algiers (about 170 million euros).
The Warhol portrait being auctioned is a serigraph titled Shot Sage Blue Marilyn. It is one of the most famous works of the American artist. The value was previously estimated at almost 190 million euros.
In 1964, Warhol made several serigraphs of Monroe, who had died two years earlier. Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is part of a series of five identical portraits, but in different colors. Christie’s describes the painting as one of the most important works of art of all time.
The artwork is currently owned by a Swiss foundation, whose proceeds are aimed at improving the lives of children around the world through health and education programs.