Marilyn Monroe: Was She Alive When Andy Warhol Painted Her?

by Jeremy Spirogis
Marilyn Monroe: Was She Alive When Andy Warhol Painted Her?

Andy Warhol is likely one of the 20th century’s most outstanding painters and a few of his most well-known work depict Marilyn Monroe. Warhol’s work painting Monroe by means of daring, unnatural colours. These work helped to cement Monroe as a pop-culture legend.

Many of Warhol’s works portrayed the most important pop icons of his day. Sometimes, celebrities would pose for his portraits. This raises an attention-grabbing query: Was Monroe alive when Warhol painted her?

The Marilyn Diptych, an Andy Warhol portray repeatedly depicting Marilyn Monroe’s face | Christina Horsten/image alliance through Getty Images

The origin of the ‘Marilyn Diptych’

To perceive Warhol’s work of Monroe, we should first look again at a movie which is sort of forgotten: Niagara. Niagara is a thriller which isn’t certainly one of Monroe’s extra remembered movies. It’s not as iconic as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, or Some Like It Hot.

However, it paved the best way for one of the iconic pictures of Monroe. A promotional picture from the movie turned the premise for Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych. A diptych is a non secular portray placed on an altar in some Christian traditions. Some see the title of the Marilyn Diptych as a reference to how celebrities are typically deified.

The diptych depicts Monroe fifty instances over. Why? Well, Warhol felt the repetition made his portray much like a Hollywood movie. Warhol felt individuals solely go to films to look at celebrities – celebrities they need to see repeatedly.

When did Andy Warhol begin portray Marilyn Monroe?

Andy Warhol in a leather-based jacket | Express Newspapers/Getty Images

Warhol started the Marilyn Diptych shortly after Monroe’s tragic demise in 1962. She clearly by no means bought to see the diptych. However, a performer like her doubtless would have been glad to see her face utilized in one of the well-known portraits in American historical past – if not world historical past.

Half of the Marilyn Diptych options brightly coloured pictures of Monroe. The different half options black-and-white pictures of her which get progressively extra pale. The fading pictures are a reference to Monroe’s then-recent demise.

The picture, although vivid and welcoming to fashionable eyes, may have seen morbid simply after Monroe’s demise. Two main themes in Warhol’s work are demise and movie star tradition. By portray the lately deceased Monroe, Warhol captured each themes concurrently in an unforgettable manner.

The legacy of the ‘Marilyn Diptych’

The paintings used for the quilt of Madonna’s Celebration.

The Marilyn Diptych wasn’t the one time Warhol painted Monroe. He created an analogous portray the identical yr known as Double Marilyn. This portray was a present for his brother, Paul Warhola. Double Marilyn is admittedly two work in a single.

When he created Double Marilyn, Warhol painted one picture of Monroe much like the photographs within the Marilyn Diptych. The different depicts Monroe with out eyes, a nostril, or a chin. What Warhol meant with this picture is anybody’s guess.

Warhol’s picture of Monroe proved enormously influential. For instance, it impressed an analogous mural in Chicago. Superstar and Monroe devotee Madonna made the picture her personal. Her album Celebration includes a cowl clearly modeled on the Marilyn Diptych. Above all, the Marilyn Diptych helped guarantee Monroe’s persevering with fame – and Warhol’s.

Also see: Princess Diana: Why This ‘Very Bad’ Painting of Her Is So Famous

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