A self-portrait by Andy Warhol has sold for 10.8 million pounds ($17 million) double its pre-sale estimate at a London auction.
says the work had been in a private collection since 1974. It is one of a series of 11 self-portraits Warhol created.
The image of red and white silkscreen ink on canvas shows the artist with his hand to his mouth. It was executed in 1967, at the height of his career as the most important figure in American Pop Art.
Christie's says the portrait was bought by an anonymous bidder in its London auction room Wednesday.
The image of Warhol with his hand to his mouth is one of the most representative and iconic images of the artist. Warhol first used the image for a group of works in 1966 painted in a much smaller, life-size scale. The following year he used the same image in producing 11 monumental works in a large-scale format of six foot square, of which the present example is one. Six works from this series were exhibited in the American Pavilion at the 1967 International and Universal Exposition in Montreal which was visited by tens of millions of people, and which saw the portraits dominate an exhibition including works by Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Barnett Newman and Robert Rauschenberg.
By 1967 Warhol had reached a point in his career when he was internationally recognized as the most important and controversial figure in American Pop Art. The present series of self-portraits represent the high point of his career when he has achieved great wealth and fame, and when as a celebrity he brashly and confidently presented his own image in a truly monumental fashion to a global audience of millions.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.