If you’ve got a couple million dollars laying around, you could have been the proud owner of a naked Bea Arthur painting. In an art auction (link contains painted nudity) Wednesday, May 15, a 1991 painting of the “Golden Girls” star topless sold for $1.9 million. The painting, simply titled “Bea Arthur Naked,” is by artist John Currin.
Arthur never sat for the portrait, nor did she actually pose topless. Instead, Currin relied on a photo of a clothed Arthur for the basis of his piece. Though the painting is 22 years old, it’s still causing a little controversy.
When the Daily Beast (link contains painted nudity) posted a link to an article about the work on their Facebook account, the site locked them out. In posting the link, a thumbnail image of the painting appeared, showing breasts. Facebook flagged the post as against the rules, placing them on a 24-hour ban. Of course, posting paintings isn’t actually against Facebook’s terms of service. Eventually they were able to get it sorted out, and the Facebook page was reinstated.
Arthur died in 2009 at 86 years old, after a battle against cancer. In addition to “The Golden Girls,” she starred as Maude Findlay on “All in the Family” and its spinoff “Maude.”