Andy Warhol’s Famous Portrait of Marilyn Monroe Sells for a Record-Breaking $195 Million

Andy Warhol’s iconic Marilyn Monroe portrait set the record for the most expensive 20th-century work of art ever sold at an auction.

By Tamantha Gunn May 10, 2022 9:04 PMTags
Watch: Kim K. Wore Second Marilyn Monroe Dress After Met Gala 2022

After the Met Gala, we're not the only ones with Marilyn Monroe on the mind.

Andy Warhol's 1964 portrait of the late actress just made history.

On May 9, Warhol's "Shot Sage Blue Marilyn" portrait sold for $195 million, becoming the most expensive 20th-century work of art ever sold at an auction and the second-highest price for artwork sold at an auction ever, according to a press release from Christie's, an art and luxury business.

The artwork featured a close-up image of Monroe in vibrant color—with yellow hair, blue eyeshadow and red lips—on a blue background.

Per the release, a portion of the proceeds will be "generously donated by the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation to benefit charities providing urgent medical and educational services to children." 

Additionally, the buyer—who was not named—has been invited to partner with the foundation and nominate the charities to which 20 percent of the proceeds will be awarded.

Marilyn Monroe: A Life in Pictures

Alex Rotter, Christie's Chairman of 20th and 21st Century Art called the historic purchase "a testament to the strength, the vibrancy, and the overall excitement of the art market today," adding, "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."

Warhol's portrait topped the $179.4 million purchase in 2015 for Pablo Picasso's "Les Femmes d'Alger (Version O)," which held the place of being the most expensive piece of 20th-century artwork sold at auction, and a $110.5 million purchase in 2017 for a 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Alessandro Di Meo/EPA/Shutterstock

The sale comes more than a week after Kim Kardashian wore the dress that Monroe rocked when she famously sang "Happy Birthday Mr. President" to John F. Kennedy in 1962 to the 2022 Met Gala on May 2.

Prior to her wearing the garment, the SKIMS CEO was gifted a lock of Monroe's hair from the staff at the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum in Orlando, Fla.

"Oh, my God, I'm literally going to do some crazy voodoo s--t [to] channel her," Kardashian joked after receiving the tresses. "This is so special to me. Thank you so much. This is so cool. Wow, this is sleeping with me every night."

For the latest breaking news updates, click here to download the E! News App