Andy Warhol's Elizabeth Taylor portrait smashes estimates at £6.7m

She hadn't been seen in public for 20 years and carried a £1m price tag - and then sold for over six-times that amount at Christie's, London.

Silver Liz, the American pop artist Andy Warhol's portrait of actress Elizabeth Taylor, is among his most iconic paintings. It appeared at Christie's auction alongside works by Koons and Lichtenstein.

Warhol's portrait of the star was conceived in 1963, around the time that Taylor became the world's first million-dollar actress through her iconic performances in 'Hollywood golden era' films like Cleopatra.

According to experts, Warhol developed a 'child-like' infatuation with the star; and eventually her portrait joined Elvis and Marilyn Monroe in his pantheon of subjects.


Andy Warhol's two-of-a-kind Silver Liz, from 1963

The work sold at Christie's is just one of two to depict Taylor with her legendary violet eyes. It carried an estimate of £700,000-£1m.

Intriguingly, the work was also produced during the period that Warhol was making his darker pop art paintings, featuring electric chairs and car crashes.

In London, all eyes were one again on Liz to see the work eventually realise an incredible £6.7m before a packed saleroom.

Other highlights in Christie's sale included Jeff Koon's 1999 artwork, Loop, sold for £3.4m, a record for the artist, and Alighiero Boetti's Mappa, 1989, which brought £1.8m, another record.

 

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