A portrait of Bolshevik revolutionary Vladimir Lenin by American pop-art artist Andy Warhol has fetched more than $4.7 million at Sotheby's, the auction house's website said.
The portrait — which measures 1.82 by 1.21 meters and is part of a series — went under the hammer on Thursday at Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London.
The inspiration for the artwork was a photograph of the revolutionary taken in 1897 which is on display at the Central Lenin Museum in Moscow. Originally depicting Lenin alongside several peers, the photograph was doctored to remove figures who had fallen out of grace with the new Soviet leadership, Sotheby's said in an online description of Warhol's painting.
The painting of Lenin outperformed another lot by Warhol, a 1967 set of the painter's Marilyn Monroe screen-prints fetching $2.3 million. A Warhol portrait of American actress and singer Judy Garland went unsold, Sotheby's said.
The highest price fetched at the auction was for “Untitled (The Black Athlete)” by the Haitian-American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, which sold for $6.2 million, the auction house said.