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.
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