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Did Jimmy Kimmel Purchase the Nude Bea Arthur Painting?

Did Jimmy Kimmel Purchase the Nude Bea Arthur Painting?


The painting of Bea Arthur in the buff was recently purchased on May 15 for a whopping $1.9 million. The buyer, it turns out, was not late night talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel, who joked about buying it as a gift for his friend and fellow comedian Jeffrey Ross.

On Friday, Ross tweeted a photo of himself standing behind the piece of art. The caption read, "Biggest surprise of my life. Thank you @JimmyKimmel — the most generous guy in the world!”

Kimmel responded on Twitter writing, "@RealJeffreyRoss Bea is watching over us, but especially you."

[Related: Young Prince Harry Hits the Playground With Princess Diana]

Later, Kimmel tweeted: "Contrary to 'news' reports, I didn't buy the Bea Arthur painting — not even for @realjeffreyross — but I did buy the Mona Lisa Lampanelli"

The Hollywood Reporter, who first reported the story of the hefty 'purchase,' confirmed from a Kimmel rep that the painting Ross was photographed with was not the actual painting, but a prop that was created for "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Artist John Currin painted the famous portrait in 1991. Arthur, who died in 2009, never actually posed for it.

"I had a vision in my head of Bea Arthur, and I found a picture of her," Currin said, according to the Christie's auction website. "I was going to put a scarf ensemble on her like that from her Maude days, and I drew the body just to drape it. It was then that I realized that the painting was fantastic as it was."

Arthur was best known for her roles on TV shows like "Golden Girls" and "Maude." She also made a (clothed) appearance in the infamous television disaster, "The Star Wars Holiday Special."