Marilyn Monroe image by Andy Warhol could set record at auction

NEW YORK – One of Andy Warhol’s iconic paintings of Marilyn Monroe is coming to auction — and Christie’s auction house has estimated the sale price could hit around $200 million.

The silkscreen image is known as “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,” a close-up of Monroe with her hair in yellow, her eyeshadow blue, and her lips red. It is slated to be part of a week of sales in May, said Christie’s Alex Rotter, who called it “one of the most significant paintings to come to auction in a generation.”

If the 1964 painting does sell for the estimate, it would become the most expensive 20th-century artwork to be auctioned, Christie’s said.

“When a painting like this comes to auction, it changes the market not only for Warhol but it changes the market itself,” Rotter said.

The proceeds of the sale would go to the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation Zurich, which is putting the painting up for auction. The foundation aims to help children with health care and educational programs.

Warhol created more than one image of Monroe; this particular painting has been exhibited in museums around the world. Rotter called the work one of the most transcendent images of the 20th century and compared its significance to some of the most iconic portraits of all-time, including Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Monet’s Olympia, Botticelli’s Venus, and more. 

The painting is available for appointment viewings before departing on a trip to Hong Kong and Taipei in early April before the auction in May.

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