As expected, the piece set an all-time auction record.
American artist Andy Warhol’s “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” painting sold for $195 million during Christie’s Spring Marquee Week. This makes it the most expensive 20th-century artwork to ever sell at auction.
“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 to leave behind in the art world, popular culture, and society,” chairman for 20th and 21st-century art Alex Rotter said.
Initially, Warhol’s painting described as “one of the rarest and most transcendent images” estimated at $200 million in value. Rotter compared the artwork to Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” and Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.”
The piece was the final lot of Christie’s single-owner evening sale. This featured 36 lots and altogether summed at $317.8 million.
The auction house said the sale sold by value at 98%, meaning strong demand from collectors and market confidence. In fact, bidders from 29 countries participated in the sale, with 68% of lots fetching above their estimates.
“The funds that we have raised tonight with the sale of this exquisite collection will go directly toward improving the health and well-being of children and young adults,” chairman Marc Porter said.
Specifically, all proceeds will benefit charities providing urgent medical and educational services to children.
Moreover, the buyer of the Marilyn portrait will partner with the foundation. They will “play an active role in fulfilling its global mission for children’s aid.”
This includes nominating the charities to which 20 percent of the proceeds will go, subject to approval.
Banner Photo via Christie’s website