Marilyn Monroe
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2009

Reference URL

Marilyn Monroe 1962
  • Artist Rooms
Following Marilyn Monroe’s suicide in 1962 Warhol created numerous portraits of the star. His ‘Marilyn Diptych’, reproduced here, is one of his most iconic works. It features two canvases each with twenty-five Marilyns printed in a grid pattern. The two sides both complement and contrast with each other. One is vibrant and bursting with energy, a representation of the star as an icon. The other is monochrome and sombre, the uneven application of ink causing her face to fade and slowly disappear. Warhol, however, never initially intended the works to be shown as a diptych. According to the collector who bought the work directly from Warhol, he presented them as two separate works: “I said I thought they should be presented as a diptych, Andy replied ‘gee whiz yes’”.

Glossary Open


An artwork consisting of two components, often joined in the centre by a hinge.


A devotional image, usually depicting Christ, the Virgin Mary or a saint, traditionally associated with the Byzantine, Greek and Roman Orthodox Churches. By extension, it is used to denote an important and enduring symbol.


An image made with a single colour.


An image pressed or stamped onto paper or fabric. This encompasses a wide variety of techniques, usually produced in multiples, although one-off prints, known as monoprints, are also included. The term is also applied to photographic images.

Diptych, Icon, Monochrome, Print


  • Acc. No. AR00319
  • Medium Lithograph on paper
  • Size 55.90 x 72.40 cm
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008