View full screen - View 1 of Lot 18. Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn).

Property from an Important Private Collection

Andy Warhol

Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn)

Premium Lot

Auction Closed

October 27, 02:59 PM GMT


2,500,000 - 4,500,000 USD

Lot Details


Property from an Important Private Collection

Andy Warhol

1928 - 1987

Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) 

each signed or initialed in pencil on the verso, six dated and one stamp-numbered 135/250

the set of ten screenprints in colors on wove paper

sheets: 36 by 36 in. 914 by 914 mm.

Executed in 1967; these impressions are from the edition of 250 plus 26 artist's proofs lettered A-Z, published by Factory Additions. 

(10 prints)

Feldman & Schellmann II.22-31

 “The irony of Andy Warhol's ‘Marilyn’ is that it is an icon of an icon created by an icon.” (Isabella Geist, "Warhol's 'Marilyn'," Forbes Magazine, 24 April 2002 (online))

In 1966, together with the art dealer David Whitney, Warhol began publishing print portfolios under the name Factory Additions, utilizing some of his most famous subjects, including Marilyn, Campbell’s Soup and Flowers. Published in 1967, Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) was the first of the Factory Additions projects, and it has since remained among the most celebrated of all of Warhol’s graphic productions. The Marilyn prints were the first technically complex prints the artist made. Using the same publicity image from the 1953 film Niagara, purchased shortly after Marilyn’s tragic death and used in a series of over twenty screenprinted canvases, the set of ten works were printed in a wide variety of color combinations with slight differences in registration. Upon examination of the full set together, the divergent hues and subtle shifts in registration have the effect of transforming the image of Marilyn, from “dazzling or sedate, frazzled or assured, glamorous or gaudy.” (Roberta Bernstein, "Warhol as Printmaker," p. 16)

Moreover, with the image of Marilyn, Warhol found the perfect confluence of celebrity, disaster and mass media – themes that fascinated the artist throughout his career. Marilyn Monroe personified the cult of celebrity, beauty and Hollywood glamor – but after her untimely demise, she epitomized loneliness, tragedy and the unfulfilled promise of the American dream. The use of intense flat but vibrant color often printed off-register heightened the sense of mask-like artificiality, capturing Marilyn’s immortal beauty and offering it up for perpetual consumption.