Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe Portrait Sells For Record $195 Million
Warhol’s “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” is the most expensive piece of 20th century artwork ever sold at auction.
The best-known of Andy Warhol’s many Marilyn Monroe portraits just set two sensational records with a $195,040,000 sale at Christie’s 20th/21st Century auction.
The pop art legend’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is now the most expensive 20th-century work sold at auction, and the second-most expensive work sold period.
That eye-popping price tag is still a long way off Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi—painted circa 1500—which sold for $450,312,500 million in a 2017 Christie’s auction.
Warhol began depicting Monroe’s visage in his signature vibrant silkscreen style almost immediately after her death in August of 1962.
The first, Marilyn Diptych, features 25 color and monochromatic renderings of a publicity still from Niagara, one of the iconic actress’ earlier movies. Shot Sage Blue Marilyn and four other 1964 Warhol Marilyns use the same headshot, but were composed using a new method to apply color.
It’s the definitive star of a sale dedicated to the works owned by Thomas and Doris Ammann, massively influential Swiss collectors and siblings who are donating all proceeds to a namesake organization dedicated to improving the lives of children worldwide.
The second highest-price—$21 million—was achieved by an early Cy Twombly Untitled from 1955, while other Warhol pieces included one of nine Flowers that sold for $15,847,500 and Heinz Tomato Ketchup Box, which fetched $478,000.