Goethe
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2009

Reference URL

Goethe 1982
  • Artist Rooms
In the 1980s Warhol turned to the work of painters such as Sandro Botticelli as a source of inspiration. He first experimented with this on the Mona Lisa’s visit to New York in 1963, producing a variety of prints of Leonardo’s mysterious woman. This screenprint is based on a painting by the German artist Johann Tischbein. It depicts Johann von Goethe, a key figure in German literature as a traveller in a landscape of ruins. Warhol has cropped the original composition so as to create a head and shoulders portrait of the writer. Goethe had contemplated painting as an early career choice and published a book on the theory of colour. As the first person to study the psychological affects of colour, it is interesting to think what he would make of Warhol’s representation of him as a Pop icon.

Glossary Open

Composition

The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Pop Art

An art movement of the 1950s to the 1970s that was primarily based in Britain and the United States. Pop artists are so called because of their use of imagery from popular culture. They also introduced techniques and materials from the commercial world, such as screen-printing, to fine art practice.

Screenprint

A print made by forcing ink through a screen on which a stencil is placed. Traditionally used for commercial printing, it has been taken up by artists since the 1960s when it was used extensively in Pop art.

Composition, Pop Art, Screenprint

Details

  • Acc. No. AR00439
  • Medium Screenprint on paper
  • Size 67.80 x 75.00 cm (74.10 x 81.40 x 3.80 cm)
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008