Rose Loving Marilyn Monroe Painting Breaks Sales Record

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By Jill Brooke

Marilyn Monroe is definitely an enduring rose, which was the actress’ favorite flower. 

Considering that an Andy Warhol painting of Marilyn Monroe just broke sales records at Christie’s selling for $195 million, thought you would find this rose story about Monroe interesting.

You may remember Warhol from his flower paintings but his one on Marilyn Monroe was iconic too. 

Warhol’s 1964 silkscreen of the actress’ face, titled “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,” was sold to an unknown buyer at the Christie’s sale making it the highest price achieved for any American work of art at an auction.

The last big sale, as the Times reported, was for a grotesque painting of a Basquiat skull that went for $110.5 million in 2017 as well as Warhol’s car crash painting that sold for $105.4 in 2013. At least this is a seductive pretty painting showcasing a woman whose come hither eyes clearly attracted millions of fans including famous men such as President  John Kennedy and playwright Arthur Miller.


Monroe’s ex-husband was baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, who she divorced because he was too possessive. Yet they were always attached to each other and he always loved her. Upon her death in 1962, he sent fresh roses to her grave a few times a week until his own death in 1999. Monroe  had told him she wanted, “Six-fresh long-stemmed red roses, three times a week…forever.”

Isn’t this a sweet love story?

Marilyn is definitely in the news this week.  Between Kim Kardashian wearing her dress at the Met Gala and now this art sale, Marilyn Monroe still captivates interest. Monroe famously wore the slinky tight-fitting dress to sing “Happy Birthday” to President John Kennedy.

Why do you think her popularity endures? Perhaps it’s because she magically projected a vulnerable sensuality that also made you want to protect her – which resulted in both men and women adoring her. Whatever it is, the anonymous buyer of the Monroe silkscreen can look at her every day for his or her own reasons and pleasures.

Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD,  floral editor for Aspire Design and Home magazine and contributor to Florists Review magazine. 

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