Shot Sage Blue Marilyn

The Marilyn, known as “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,” was one of five versions in different color schemes that Warhol painted in 1964, two years after Marilyn Monroe’s death. With its bright colors and captivating expression, the portraits became some of Warhol’s most iconic and famous images. An orange version recently sold to hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin for over $200 million. (Original Size 40 x 40 in. (101.6 x 101.6 cm.) “It’s the Mount Everest of its era,” Fabricant said. “Everyone in the world when these paintings were made knew the story of Marilyn Monroe, the epic loss and the epic achievement. And Warhol himself was beginning to become an icon. So it’s two icons at their height.” The portraits were based on a promotional photo of Monroe from the film “Niagara.” The portraits became even more famous when, shortly after they were completed, a woman walked into Warhol’s Factory studio with a gun and shot at a stack of four of them. The “sage blue” painting escaped damaged and the others were repaired. But the shooting added to their allure and became part of their titles. Unlike most hyper-priced works sold at auction, “Marilyn” was not sold with a guarantee, which is a minimum price at which a third party or the auction house agrees to purchase the work. Dealers say the sellers wanted to maximize the charitable proceeds, and guarantees typically require sellers to give up some of the price upside above the guaranteed amount. “This was a once-in-a-generation chance,” Fabricant said. “Pieces like this just don’t come around that often.”
Painting / Lithograph on paper
Current Location
Private Collection
Represented by
101cm (W) x 101cm (H)
Frame Size
135cm (W) x 140cm (H)
Condition Report
Auctioned by Christies to an unnamed buyer

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Condition Report Definition Key
The central image area, composition, or focal point; the area inside the margins/plate marks.
Areas bordering the central image, outside the plate marks, or the perimeter area.
The farthest edge of the object.
The reverse/back of the object.
An existing condition which generally does not involve risk of loss.
Noticeable damage, increasing in severity and/or size; should be monitored or corrected by a conservator.
Distinct, recognizable damage; the stability of the work is questionable and risk is a factor. Requires the attention of a conservator.
Advanced and severe damage; work is insecure and at great risk.