Warhol's Mao sells for £7.6 million

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Undated handout photo issued by Sotheby's of Andy Warhol's canvas of the Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-tung sold for 7.6 million pounds at a Sotheby's auction in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday February 12, 2014. See PA story SALE Warhol. Photo credit should read: Sotheby's/PA WireNOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

An Andy Warhol canvas of the Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-tung sold for £7.6 million tonight - more than 18 times the price paid last time it went to auction.

Warhol's Mao series was a response to US president Richard Nixon's visit to China in 1972.

He transformed the official portrait of the leader, in this case using the red and yellow colour scheme of the Cultural Revolution.

It was last sold at auction in June 2000 for £421,500.

The auction at Sotheby's in London also included the sale of Gerhard Richter's 1994 work Wand (Wall) for £17.4 million.

Lucian Freud's Head on a Green Sofa was also sold for £2.9 million.

The painting of society figure Belinda 'Bindy', Lady Lambton was created after Freud exchanged his fine, sable brushes for larger hogs' hair brushes and taught himself to work standing up. Freud believed it to be among his best works.

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