This Photograph of Marilyn Monroe Reclined from "The Last Sitting" series by Bert Stern, 1962, features a sleepy Marilyn Monroe in bed. The signed photograph is professionally framed. In 1962, photographer Bert Stern shot a series of photos of Marilyn Monroe that have collectively come to be known as “The Last Sitting.” Taken during several boozy sessions at the Hotel Bel-Air, the photographs are arguably the most famous images ever captured of America’s most famous actress: Monroe, sleepy-eyed and naked, sips from a Champagne glass, enacts a fan dance of sorts with various diaphanous scarves, romps with erotic playfulness on a bed of white linens. Six weeks after she had posed, Monroe was found dead of an apparent barbiturate overdose.
The photos endure partly as artifacts—as the last visible evidence of the living woman (a legacy reinforced by Stern’s decision to publish the contact sheets Monroe herself had crossed out in red marker). But the pictures are also remarkable for the raw truths they seem to reveal. In them, we see an actress whose comedic talents were overshadowed by her sex appeal, a woman who is cannily aware of her pinup status, yet is also beginning to show her 36 years. In many shots, she is obviously drunk. This was an unhappy time for Monroe. Notorious for her on-set antics, she had been publicly lambasted by Billy Wilder after Some Like It Hot, then fired from the production of Something’s Got to Give; she’d endured two recent divorces and, in 1961, a brief stint in a psychiatric ward.
Stern excavated and preserved the poignant humanity of the real woman—beautiful, but also fragile, needy, flawed—from the monumental sex symbol. In our armored, airbrushed age, his achievement feels almost revolutionary.
Appraisal Value: $10,000.00
Our Price: $3,995.00
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