Arts & Entertainment

Christie’s to auction Warhol’s iconic Marilyn Monroe pop-art portrait

New York, Mar 21 (EFE).- Christie’s announced on Monday that in May it will auction one of pop-icon Andy Warhol’s best-known portraits of Marilyn Monroe during its sale of 20th century art, the value of which has been estimated at some $200 million.

According to the British auction house, which has an office in New York, “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” is “the most significant 20th century painting to come to auction in a generation” and could become the “most expensive” 20th century work ever to be sold at auction.

Experts at Christie’s compared the portrait to other iconic pieces such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Pablo Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” and Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus.”

The work, one of the prime examples of Warhol’s colorful pop-art portraits, is being offered for sale by the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation Zurich, and 100 percent of the funds received from the sale will go to the organization, which focuses on improving the lives of children all over the world, particularly in the areas of health and education.

The portrait, in blue, pink and yellow and created by the US artist in 1964, will be offered for auction in May and no minimum bid has been established for the sale.

“Andy Warhol’s Marilyn is the absolute pinnacle of American Pop and the promise of the American Dream encapsulating optimism, fragility, celebrity and iconography all at once,” said the director of Christie’s 20th and 21st century art department, Alex Rotter.

The auction house added that work is “one of the rarest and most transcendent images in existence.”

Warhol began creating silkscreen paintings after the death of the actress in 1962, and he made a number of colorful reproductions of her smiling face, although it was not until 1964 that he developed the more elaborate the laborious technique that he used in the image that will go on sale.

The portrait measures 40 inches by 40 inches and has been exhibited in some of the world’s most important museums, including the Guggenheim in New York, the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Tate Modern and the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the Reina Sofia in Madrid and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

EFE hc/jfu/dmt/bp

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