Mel Ramos Batman portrait to break $100,000?

A Mel Ramos portrait of Batman is to star in a contemporary art sale at Heritage Auctions.

The work, titled A Sinister Figure Lurks in the Dark (1962), was thought lost for many years.

Mel Ramos Batman
Mel Ramos painted a series of comic book characters in the 1960s

It's expected to make in excess of $100,000 in the November 14 sale.

Consignor Bill Steinfelt met Ramos during the early 1960s, staying for a while at his home. Before he left he agreed to swap a stack of comic books for one of Ramos' paintings.

Steinfelt said: "I didn't want to sell my collection, but I said 'I'll take one of your drawings and you can have these comic books.' He had a bunch of them, but I thought this was the best one."

Ramos is best known for his depictions of nude women posing with various products. His auction record is £1.1m ($1.7m), set for a work titled AC Annie (1971) at Sotheby's in 2012.

Leon Benrimon, Heritage's director of contemporary and modern art, said: "This painting of Batman not only epitomizes the truly incredible talents of Mel Ramos, but also exudes the simplicity and invincibility of all comic book heroes with whom we have grown to love.

"This work poignantly reveals one of Ramos' five missing paintings from his comic book series, the artist's first mature body of work. It's got a great story to tell."

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