NEW YORK – Andy Warhol’s “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” sold for $ 195 million on Monday, making the iconic portrait of Marilyn Monroe the most expensive work by an American artist ever sold at auction.

The 1964 silkscreen drawing shows Monroe in bright close-ups – yellow hair, blue shadows and red lips – on a rich blue background. It’s also the most expensive 20th-century item ever auctioned, according to Christie’s auction house in New York City, where it was on sale.

The sale of Warhol removed the previous record holder and other modern master, Jean-Michel Basque, whose 1982 painting “Untitled” with a skull-like face sold for a record $ 110.5 million at Sotheby’s in 2017.

Christie’s said an unnamed buyer made the purchase Monday night. When the auction was announced earlier this year, they estimated it could go up to $ 200 million.


“It’s an amazing price,” said Alex Rother, chairman of Christie’s 20th and 21st century art department. “Let it go, it’s something like that.”

“This is where we wanted to be, obviously,” said Guillaume Cerutti, Christie’s CEO. “It shows that we are in a very stable art market.”

Proceeds from the sale will go to the Thomas Zurich Foundation and Doris Oman, who put the painting up for auction. The foundation aims to assist children in medical and educational programs.

Warhol created more than one image of Monroe; this painting has been exhibited in museums around the world.

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