Warhol self-portrait sells for 10.8 million pounds

16th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

A colossal self-portrait by "pope of pop" Andy Warhol sold for 10.8 million pounds (17.4 million dollars, 12.8 million euros) at Christie's in London on Wednesday, doubling pre-auction expectations.

The recently discovered 1967 piece, which measures six foot (1.8 metre) square, depicts Warhol with a hand to his mouth in what the auction house called "one of the most representative and iconic images of the artist."

"It has been an incredibly exciting journey to work with a previously unknown work by Andy Warhol, particularly one with such historic importance," Francis Outred, head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie's Europe said.

"We are thrilled to have been able to publish this work for the first time in our catalogue and to exhibit it to the public for the first time.

"It drew great admiration both at the exhibition and in the saleroom," Outred added.

The painting is one of 11 large-scale self-portraits executed in 1967, a time when Warhol had established himself as the most important figure in the Pop Art movement.

Eight of these works were included in the painter's retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1989, two years after his death.

Last week at Sotheby's in London, a 1929 painting by Salvador Dali, "Portrait de Paul Eluard", set the world record for a Surrealist piece at auction when it sold for 13 million pounds.

© 2011 AFP

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