PABLO Picasso has lost his place as creator of the 20th-century’s most expensive work of art.
Andy Warhol’s iconic picture of Marilyn Monroe has just been sold at auction for $195 million (€184.7 million) in New York.
This was not only a record price for an American artist’s work but also beat the $179.5 million (€170 million at today’s exchange rate) paid for Picasso’s Women of Algiers, Version ‘0’ (1955) in 2015. This had made it the most expensive piece of 20th-century art – until Marilyn was put under the hammer.
Despite the whopping amount paid, it did not quite meet the €200 million estimate Christies had put on it.
The enormous price tag is good news for several charities. Cash from the sale of the silk-screen painting will fund various projects to help children.
Titled Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964), it is one of four made by Warhol featuring Marilyn and was completed two years after her death.
Picasso’s Women of Algiers focused on his second wife Jacqueline Roque and was created as an homage to his friend and rival, Henri Matisse. The work was part of a series that Picasso began in 1954, shortly after the Nationalist uprising in Algeria against French rule.
It had previously fetched ‘just’ €31.9 million (€30.25 million) when auctioned in 1997.
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