The controversial artist John Currin painted “Bea Arthur Naked” in 1991, which features the late actress in nothing but her birthday suit. It’s just one of many nude paintings created by the artist, who tends to choose provocative women — both celebrities and nonentities — as his subject matter.
“It’s historically significant,” Christie’s representative Koji Inoue says of the Arthur portait in a statement to The New York Post. “It’s radical to sexualize someone people think of as asexual.“
The painting was expected to fetch between $1.8 and $2.5 million, so whomever scored the naked Bea got their famous artwork for a bargain price. You can view more of Currin’s titillating imagery here. All we can say is, thank goodness Blanche wasn’t around for this sale because she would have been so jealous.