Andy Warhol’s iconic painting of Marilyn Monroe has been auctioned for $195 million (£158.17 million), making it the most expensive piece of 20th century art ever sold.
Warhol created Shot Sage Blue Marilyn in 1964 after being inspired by a famous photograph.
This is also the highest price ever paid for an American work of art.
The Christie’s auction in New York was widely regarded as a barometer of the health of the luxury art market.
Christie’s stated ahead of the auction that the painting is “one of the rarest and most transcendent images in existence,” with a selling price “in the region” of $200 million.
The auction ended with a sale price of $170 million, which increased to $195 million after taxes and fees were deducted.
The previous record price for an American artwork was $110.5 million for a skull painting created in 1982 by Warhol’s friend and rival, Jean-Michael Basquiat.
The final price also breaks the previous record for a work of art from the twentieth century, which was set in 2015 when a 1955 painting by Pablo Picasso titled Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O) sold for $179.4 million, including fees.
In March, George Frei, the chairman of the board of the Thomas and Doris Amman Foundation, said in a statement that the painting of Monroe “bears witness to her undiminished visual power in the new millennium”.
“Marilyn the woman is gone; the terrible circumstances of her life and death are forgotten,” Mr Frei said. “All that remains is the enigmatic smile that links her to another mysterious smile of a distinguished lady, the Mona Lisa.”