Andy Warhol’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II breaks global auction record

Artist’s 1985 portrait of the late Queen set a ‘global auction record for an editioned print’

Inga Parkel
Wednesday 30 November 2022 18:06 GMT
Warhol's portrait of the Queen

Andy Warhol’s 1985 portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II has set a global auction record.

On 24 November, Canada’s Heffel Fine Art Auction House sold the piece for $1,141,250 (£954,667), twice its estimated sale price of roughly $405,000 (£338,600).

The following day, the museum announced on Facebook that “the crown jewel” of its fall auction of Post-War & Contemporary Art, had “surpassed the million dollar mark, and broke the global record for any Warhol editioned print ever sold at auction”.

The “highly coveted” piece is one of four of the renowned artist’s 1985 Reigning Queen series.

Its creation is based on a 1975 photograph taken by Peter Grugeon at Windsor Castle, which was later published in 1977 in commemoration of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

Featuring Warhol’s signature pop art design, the artwork depicts the Queen wearing her famous Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara, set against a contrasting royal blue background.

Layered with diamond dust, it gives off a shimmery effect under light.

Record-setting portrait is on far left

While the Queen’s portrait set a record for Warhol’s editioned print sales, his Marilyn Monroe portrait, titled “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” still remains his most expensive work to date, having sold for a staggering $195m (£161m) in May.

Earlier this month, Warhol’s masterpiece from his “Death And Disaster” series sold for $86m (£72m).

Born in 1928, the American artist gained notoriety in 1962 with his famous paintings of Campbell’s soup cans, Coca-Cola bottles and wooden replicas of Brillo soap-pad boxes.

Warhol died in 1987 at age 58 of cardiac arrhythmia after undergoing gallbladder surgery.

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