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

Reference URL

Baboon 1957
  • Artist Rooms
This work, one of many Warhol referred to as his “Golden Pictures”, shows the process behind his blotted-line technique. The image on the right is the initial drawing which Warhol would then have printed on to the gold leaf on the purple sheet of paper. In 1956 he travelled the world and the art of the Far East undoubtedly influenced his interest in gold. His travelling companion commented that it was particularly Bangkok’s gold furniture with black designs that inspired him. However, there are other possible influences. Warhol grew up in the Catholic Orthodox Church whose religious icons often featured gold backgrounds. Also, it’s likely that he knew of the gold paintings Robert Rauschenberg produced in 1953. With ‘Baboon’, Warhol’s garish colour combination anticipates his Pop images of the 1960s.

Glossary Open

Blotted-Line Technique

Andy Warhol first experimented with this form of print-making whilst a student and it would later characterise his commercial work of the 1950s. With two sheets of paper hinged together, a pencil drawing is made on one sheet which is subsequently traced over with ink. Whilst the ink is still wet the sheets of paper are pressed together, thus transferring the line. The result is a broken, yet apparently intuitive, line drawing.


A devotional image, usually depicting Christ, the Virgin Mary or a saint, traditionally associated with the Byzantine, Greek and Roman Orthodox Churches. By extension, it is used to denote an important and enduring symbol.

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.

Blotted-Line Technique, Icon, Pop Art


  • Acc. No. AR00252
  • Medium Ink, gold leaf, graphite and gouache on paper
  • Size 45.00 x 71.10 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