Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Warhol's Liz Taylor sold for $23m

Liz is a classic example of Warhol's work.

An Andy Warhol painting of actress Dame Elizabeth Taylor has been sold for $23.7m (11.4m) at a New York auction.

An anonymous bidder bought the 1963 portrait, called Liz, which had been expected to fetch more than $25m (11.9m) at Christie's.

The auction house refused to confirm reports that it was British actor Hugh Grant who sold the portrait after he bought it in 2001 for $15m (7.2m).

Warhol created 12 portraits of the actress as she recovered from illness.

"I started those a long time ago when she was so sick and everybody said she was going to die," the artist said at the time.

"Now I am doing them all over, putting bright colours on her lips and eyes."

Warhol also produced similar works of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy.

In May a painting of a car crash sold for $71.7m (36.3m), a record for a Warhol piece. The 1963 painting, Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I), depicted an overturned car on fire.

Jeff Koons' Diamond (Blue) sold for $11.8m (5.7m).

American artist Warhol was a leading figure in the Pop Art movement, and he experimented by creating artworks from mass-produced images from American popular culture.

Born in 1928, he died unexpectedly in 1987 in a New York hospital following a gall bladder operation.

London-born Dame Elizabeth, 75, first achieved stardom aged 12 in National Velvet. She went on to win Oscars for her roles in the 1960 film Butterfield 8, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Her last screen appearance was in the 2001 television movie These Old Broads, co-starring Debbie Reynolds.

The centerpiece of Christie's post-war and contemporary art auction was Jeff Koons' Diamond (Blue) sculpture.

Made of stainless steel and standing at seven-foot high, the sculpture sold for $11.8m (5.7m).

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