Andy Warhol Mao painting sells for £7.6m
The canvas of the Chinese communist leader sold for 18 times its last price
Andy Warhol's canvas of Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-tung (Zedong) has fetched an impressive £7.6 million at auction in London
The pop artist's 1977 painting sold at Sotheby's for 18 times the price it last reached in June 2000, when it was auctioned for £421,500.
Warhol based a series of portraits on the politician after US president Richard Nixon visited China in 1972.
The painting of a photograph of Mao uses vivid red and yellow colours drawn from the Cultural Revolution's colour scheme. The brushwork is clearly visible, in contrast to his earlier Sixties pop works.
Warhol, who died in 1987, was heavily interested in China's political situation in the early Seventies. He described the Chinese as "so nutty", adding that they "don't believe in creativity".
"The only picture they ever have is of Mao Zedong," a quote from Warhol on the Tate gallery's website reads. "It's great. It looks like a silkscreen."
Other sales on Wednesday night included Gerhard Richter's "Wand (Wall)" and Lucian Freud's "Head on a Green Sofa", which sold for £2.9 million each.
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Bad luck, One Direction: Paul McCartney doubts success of The Beatles will ever be matched again
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
The last decade has produced just four UK festival headline acts
What if Nicolas Cage played every character in Game of Thrones?
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture