This event is a triumph for culture and for trans-Atlantic friendship. Jacqueline Kennedy who thought and required this operation has a European sensibility and desires to fight America's reputation of cultural backwardness. André Malraux, French Minister of Culture, accepted the risk.
The American art is changing. Andy Warhol, like Norman Rockwell before him, is attentive to all symbols that can move the Americans. His technique of silkscreen art is developed. Executed in the previous year, the anaglyphic Statue of Liberty was already a synthesis of his blending of culture, politics and art.
A curator at the Metropolitan invited Warhol to interpret Mona Lisa. This approach is highly remarkable because Andy was still unknown two years earlier. It demonstrates the impulse and the need of the Americans to enter modern life during the Kennedy presidency.
Andy chooses three themes from a picture taken in a magazine: full image, bust and hands, and realizes the screens in several sizes. He mixes the screens in all orthogonal positions, even overlapping some of them, and separately uses with no addition the four basic colors of printing: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The famous Leonardo's picture confronts altogether the techniques and the disorders of the industrial civilization.
The largest multiple Mona Lisa realized by Warhol, 320 x 208 cm, is for sale at Christie's in New York on May 13, lot 26B. The estimate is not published, but this lot is expected in the region of $ 40M. Warhol's Liberty referred above was sold for $ 43,7M including premium by Christie's on November 14, 2012.
I invite you to play the video shared by Christie's.