Andy Warhol portrait of Marilyn Monroe sells at auction for record-setting $195 million

"Shot Sage Blue Marilyn" sold for $195 million — the highest price ever for a 20th century artwork

Forget diamonds, artwork might just be a girl's best friend.

More than 50 years after her death, Marilyn Monroe remains as vital and intriguing as ever (see: all the hubbub over Kim Kardashian wearing her gown to the Met Gala). And that remains true on the auction block as well.

On Monday, Andy Warhol's famous portrait of Monroe, "Shot Sage Blue Marilyn," sold for $195 million, setting a new record as the most expensive 20th-century artwork sold at auction. The 40-inch-by-40-inch silkscreen's price tag surpassed the previous record holder, Jean-Michel Basquiat's "Untitled," which sold for $110.5 million at Sotheby's in 2017. Another Warhol silkscreen of a car crash went for $105.4 million in 2013.

The Monroe piece was auctioned at Christie's as part of Thomas and Doris Ammann's estate sale, proceeds from which will benefit charities providing urgent medical and educational services to children.

"Tonight was a historic night for Christie's and for the entire contemporary art market," said Alex Rotter, Christie's chairman of 20th and 21st century art, in a statement. "The record-breaking sale of Warhol's iconic portrait of Marilyn from the collection of Thomas and Doris Ammann is a testament to the strength, the vibrancy, and the overall excitement of the art market today. This sale demonstrates the pervasive power of Andy Warhol as well as the lasting legacy that he continues leave behind in the art world, popular culture, and society."

Warhol created the silkscreen two years after Monroe's death, one of four images he created of her, each featuring a different color background. The idea was based on a promotional photograph of Monroe used for the 1953 film Niagara, considered by many to have been her breakout role.

Warhol once quipped that everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame, but when it comes to Monroe, fame seems to be eternal.


Original Source:

May 11, 2022