Warhol's brother to sell Campbell's soup can painting for £1m

It is the ordinary snack that turned him into the high priest of pop art. Now Andy Warhol's first painting of a Campbell's soup can is expected to fetch up to £1m when it is sold by the family of his chicken-farming brother, Paul Warhola.

Warhol, who dropped the "a" from his Slovakian surname when he moved to New York from his home town of Pittsburgh, painted Campbell's Soup Can (Pepper Pot) in 1961 and gave it to Paul to celebrate the birth of his son, Marty.

Over the years, each of Paul's seven children took the 20in by 15in canvas to school to show off the talents of their uncle, who rightly predicted that it would "one day be worth millions". Only one other similar-sized Warhol painting of a Campbell's soup can exists. But it is unfinished and belongs to the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, making the picture being auctioned at Christie's in New York on 13 November the only one ever likely to be offered for sale.

The iconic painting, which has never been out of the hands of the Warhola family, is believed to have been the inspiration behind Warhol's famous silkscreen "multiples", images of everyday objects such as soup cans and Coke bottles that he printed in different colours. Larger versions now fetch six-figure sums.

But when he painted that first humble tin of soup he had yet to employ the silkscreen process now so closely linked with his work. Instead, he drew the picture by hand from a magazine photograph, labouring for hours to mimic the can's machine-printed precision.

Determined to leave as little trace of brushwork as possible, Warhol, who began his career designing advertisements for women's shoes, meticulously added the bold hues of red, white and yellow on the soup can and used hand-carved stamps to create the small fleur-de-lis decoration.

A Christie's spokeswoman said yesterday: "No image is more American than the Campbell's soup can. It has remained essentially the same in its design since the early 1900s and has been a staple of American pantries for just as long. Warhol's serial images perfectly reflect the consumer-driven society and this painting is one of the earliest examples of his master subject."

Warhol – who survived being shot in 1968 by the fanatical Valerie Solanas, who had once worked at the Factory, his celebrated New York studio – died in 1987 after suffering complications from a gall bladder operation. He was 60.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Newly Qualified Teachers

£90 - £115 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are currently looking fo...

Year 3/4 Teacher

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Job Share Year 3/4 Teacher...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments