Warhol’s Bardot portrait set for auction block

The silkscreen print was commissioned by Gunter Sachs in 1974 – five years after he divorced the French beauty – and is expected to be the star lot in an upcoming auction of the German playboy’s paintings.

Nearly 300 works will hit the auction block, including photos taken by Sachs and paintings by Roy Lichtenstein, Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte.

Experts predict the collection, which is being sold by Sachs’ widow Mirja Larsson, will pull in more than $32 million (£20 million) in total.

Sotheby’s director Cheyenne Westphal says, “This remarkable collection… truly captures the essence of Gunter Sachs’ life in the 1960s and 1970s and reveals his little-known side as one of the most visionary and influential collectors of the 20th century. (It is) among the most desirable single owner collections ever to come to market.”

The sale, to be held in London on 22 and 23 May (12), comes a year after Sachs shot himself dead, leaving behind a suicide note stating he didn’t want to live with “hopeless illness A” – widely believed to be Alzheimer’s disease.