This Roy Lichtenstein Mural Once Decorated the Bathroom of a Famed Playboy. Now It Could Be Yours for $1.2 Million

The bespoke work was one of many to populate Gunter Sachs’s famous, Swiss, pop-art-filled apartment.

Roy Lichtenstein, Composition (1969). © Estate Gunter Sachs.
Roy Lichtenstein, Composition (1969). © Estate Gunter Sachs.

The industrialist and photographer Gunter Sachs was not one for subtlety or moderation, and nothing embodied his lavish lifestyle more than the Roy Lichtenstein-designed murals he had installed in his bathroom in an apartment overlooking the Swiss Alps. This week, one of those works will be up for sale through Sotheby’s.

The bespoke porcelain work, titled Composition, which was put below the collector’s sink upside-down in 1969 (the year he divorced actress Bridgette Bardot) could sell for as much as $1.2 million, and is one of two works by Lichtenstein that Sachs has put into his bathroom. (The other, an interpretation of the Greek myth Leda and the Swan, lived underneath a blue bathtub. A study for that piece, also owned by Sachs, sold for $446,500 at Sotheby’s in 2011.)

Gunter Sachs’s former bathroom with commissioned work by Roy Lichtenstein. © Estate Gunter Sachs.

If the work sells on Friday, it will be for the fourth time in seven years. Composition was included in Sotheby’s 2012 sale of Sachs’s collection, where it went for just over $850,000. After ending up in the hands of Acquavella Galleries, it was purchased by its current owner in 2015.

Sachs’s penthouse in the tower of the Palace Hotel in St. Moritz was famously decked out with the art movement du jour, from a specially designed table by Diego Giacometti to early editions of Allen Jones’s infamous Hatstand, Table and Chair suite of sculptures. In his kitchen hung one of Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup canvases, while a Mel Ramos Banana Split painting graced a wall in the guest bedroom.

French actress Brigitte Bardot and her then-husband, German industrialist Gunter Sachs. Courtesy of Getty Images.

Elsewhere in that same apartment, Sachs installed a bullet-proof wall. As accounts from guests go, he would stand behind as friends shot at him; then we would have them sign the resulting hole. The story—once a testament to his eccentricity—took on darker undertones after Sachs took his own life with a gun in 2011.

The works in Sachs’s collection speak to his brash style. The collector, who inherited his grandfather’s auto company fortune, once dropped hundreds of roses from a helicopter above the French Riviera home of Bardot just hours after meeting her.


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