Andy Warhol’s famous silkscreen of Marilyn Monroe shattered the all-time record for the highest price achieved for a piece of American artwork during an auction on Monday night in New York City.
“Warhol’s 1964 silk-screen of just her face, ‘Shot Sage Blue Marilyn’ sold for about $195 million,” The New York Times reported. “The 40-inch-by-40-inch painting, a trophy given its vibrant colors and glamorous subject matter, eclipsed the previous high price of $110.5 million for a Basquiat skull painting at Sotheby’s in 2017 as well as Warhol’s auction high for a car crash painting that sold for $105.4 million in 2013.”
The auction launched the city’s line up of major auctions this season and showcased the resilient nature of the high-end art market.
“At least four bidders vied for the work, with dealer Larry Gagosian winning it after a roughly four-minute-long bidding battle in Christie’s Rockefeller Center salesroom in Manhattan,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Heading into the latest sale, Christie’s had high expectations for the work, giving it a $200 million estimate.”
Silkscreen printing has been around for thousands of years and is “a stenciling method that involves printing ink through stencils that are supported by a porous fabric mesh stretched across a frame called a screen,” HarmstonArts notes. “Silkscreen Printing is ideally suited for bold and graphic designs.”
The most expensive piece of artwork ever sold was Leonardo da Vinci’s rediscovered portrait of Jesus Christ, which was purchased in 2017 by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for $450.3 million.
This report has been updated to include additional information.