$195 million at auction: Warhol's portrait is the most expensive work of the 20th century

$195 million at auction
Warhol’s picture is the most expensive work of the 20th century

Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe painting set a new record: the 1964 work sold at an auction in New York for $195 million. This is the highest amount for a work of art in the twentieth century. More records could follow soon.

A portrait of actress Marilyn Monroe by American artist Andy Warhol sold at auction in New York for about $ 195 million (about 185 million euros) – making it the most expensive work of art sold at auction since the 20th century and the most expensive. The artwork that was auctioned became an American artist.

The 1964 “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,” based on a photograph showing the actress against a turquoise blue background with yellow hair, red lips and turquoise eye shadow, was sold at Christie’s at the start of a traditional spring auction. It was not initially clear who bought the image, which was previously estimated at $200 million. It comes from the Thomas and Doris Amman Foundation in Zurich, which intends to use all auction proceeds for charitable purposes.

Only Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” dating around the early 16th century and auctioning in 2017 for $450.3 million, has fetched more at auction so far, making it the most expensive work of art ever sold. . auction. In second place came Pablo Picasso’s film Women of Algeria, which sold for $179.4 million in 2015.

“High Point of American Pop”

Alex Rutter, responsible for 20th and 21st century art, said Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is “one of the greatest paintings of all time” and “the most important picture of the 20th century to be auctioned in this generation.” Centuries at Christie’s, he said beforehand. “Andy Warhol’s Marilyn is the ultimate pinnacle of American pop music and the promise of the American Dream, encompassing optimism, fragility, fame and iconography all at once.”

The highest possible record should be just the beginning. Over the course of about two weeks, the top dogs at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, but also smaller auction houses, want to break more records. Christie’s is already gearing up for “the best season yet” and Sotheby’s is offering, among other things, Part Two of the Macklowe Collection, the first of which set records at auctions last fall – with works by Gerhard Richter, Mark among others Rothko and Sigmar Polk and Willem de Kooning.

In addition, Sotheby’s has high hopes for the 1932 painting by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso “Femme nue couchée”, which can fetch more than $ 60 million, and the Venice painting by French painter Claude Monet is estimated at about $ 50 million.

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