Oil, graphite pencil on canvas
56 x 68 1/2 in. (142.2 x 174 cm)
Neither signed nor dated
Classification: painting


In this catalogue paintings are classified as follows:

Painting is a work with acrylic and/or oil on canvas or on another two-dimensional support (canvas board, wood panel, etc.)

Painting (mural) is a large-scale painting, historically called "mural"

Painting on paper describes a work in acrylic, oil or watercolor on paper or board


Lichtenstein usually signed and dated a painting on the verso around the time it was finished, inventoried or shipped to a gallery or storage. Some pre-Pop paintings were dated in code (e.g., RLCR 502). 

See also: 8. DATES

Media Lines

Described are all media visible on a painting's recto. Paint is listed first, followed by graphite pencil where present, followed by the support. An inscription's medium is given beneath the media line if different from the painting media.

Acrylic and Oil Paints

The painting media lines in this catalogue are rarely based on technical analysis by a museum or a conservator. They are mostly informed by conversations with the artist's studio assistants, by examination of paint jars and tubes that were kept after the artist's death and by RLF records or Leo Castelli Gallery files. 

In this catalogue, all types of acrylic paint are listed as "acrylic" and all types of oil paint as "oil."

Historically, the brand name "Magna" (acrylic dispersion paint by Bocour Artist Colors, Inc.) has been used to describe all of Lichtenstein's acrylic. RLF records and technical analysis by art museums confirm that the artist did not only use Magna, but at times Liquitex acrylic emulsion paint and, later, Golden Artist Colors acrylic dispersion paint. When Magna production stopped in c. 1990, Lichtenstein bought up large amounts of Magna. He also reached out to Golden who worked with him to devise custom MSA colors in Lichtenstein's hallmark hues.      

Pop paintings and later works were usually painted with both acrylic and oil. It is assumed that around 1962, Lichtenstein experimented with Liquitex and Magna before adopting Magna as the main medium. For paintings of 1962–63, media lines are informed by notes on RL Studio Cards and/or in the Leo Castelli Gallery inventory. In rare instances, media lines were written by the artist on the verso of a work (e.g., RLCR 691). For paintings of 1964 and beyond, solid colors are assumed to be acrylic and dots and diagonals oil. However, it is possible that Lichtenstein continued his experimentation with paints through and after 1964.

Graphite Pencil Underdrawing

A closer look at Lichtenstein's paintings reveals that graphite pencil underdrawing and palimpsest is visible in most of them, starting in the 1960s. Nevertheless, pencil has not historically been mentioned in the related media lines. Due to the artist's well-known intention that his work not appear "too finished," this catalogue includes pencil in media lines. If in question from examination report results or other documentation, the presence of graphite pencil is assumed. When a researcher's examination report confirms that pencil is not visible, it is not included. 

Painting: Other Mediums and Techniques

Different types of canvas are not described. A regular type used was #10 cotton duck from New York Central Art Supply. Circular canvases were at least partially ordered there as well. Earlier paintings' canvases are typically finer and sometimes described as "linen" in studio records. 

In the Imperfect/Perfect and Entablature paintings, grainy areas are visible. Lichtenstein created this texture by adding beach sand, usually to a thick white underlayer over which he applied the final color. 

This reductive technique of line-making is found in about 25 pre-Pop paintings. 

Stretchers are not included in media lines. Lebron stretchers were standard orders from c. 1972 on, and were typically delivered assembled. A different stretcher brand was introduced once and quickly abandoned.  

Strip frames
Strip frames are not included in media lines. Slightly raised above the edges, strip frames served as a practical protection during shipment and storage movements and were routinely added to paintings at least from the time James dePasquale became Lichtenstein's assistant.   

Painting on Paper: Other Mediums and Techniques

Masking out
Masking techniques are indicated, but the material used (e.g., frisket, small objects) is not identified (e.g., RLCR 219).

Watercolor application
When it is applied in multiple ways, watercolor application method is described, otherwise brush is implied. For example, see RLCR 365, “Watercolor, brushed, smudged by hand and sprayed, with masking out, graphite pencil on paper." 


Painting dimensions are given from canvas edge to canvas edge, excluding original wood strip frames nailed to the edges. 

For multi-panel paintings, if panels are joined, overall dimensions and dimensions of each canvas are given. If panels are separate, only panel dimensions are provided since overall dimensions vary by installation. Lichtenstein usually suggested a distance of approximately 7 inches between canvases for installation. This fact informed spacing of related images in the catalogue entries (e.g., RLCR 1635). 

See also: 10. DIMENSIONS

Signature, Inscriptions, Marks

The artist usually signed and dated his paintings on the canvas verso in charcoal and applied a spray fixative before sending it to a gallery or storage.  

Pre-Pop paintings are often signed or initialed on the recto in oil, or inscribed with the artist's name and other tombstone information on the stretcher or tacking margin. 

See also: 11. INSCRIPTIONS

Read more: Guide to the Catalogue
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Catalogue entry

Artwork: Washing Machine, 1961 (RLCR 663)
RLCR 663 (LC 3; RL 0059)
Washing Machine
Title Source
Castelli; RL Register; RL Studio Card
Alternate title and source: Washing Machine (with Suds) (Castelli)
Oil, graphite pencil on canvas
56 x 68 1/2 in. (142.2 x 174 cm)
Neither signed nor dated
Stretcher: # 3 [partially covered by label]
Commercial imagery
Richard Brown Baker, New York City, November 1961 (via Leo Castelli Gallery, New York City)
Leo Castelli Gallery (4 East 77th Street), New York, Roy Lichtenstein, February 10–March 3, 1962.
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, Two Modern Collectors: Susan Morse Hilles, Richard Brown Baker, May 23–September 1, 1963 (Yale 1963, no. 41 p. 52 ill.).
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, An American Viewpoint, 1963, December 3, 1963–January 7, 1964 (CAC, Cincinnati 1963).
Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island, Paintings and Constructions of the 1960's Selected from the Richard Brown Baker Collection, October 2–25, 1964 (RISD 1964).
Allan Frumkin Gallery, New York, 1961: American Painting in the Watershed Year, March 6–April 2, 1974 (Frumkin 1974, no. 10 b/w ill.).
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, Richard Brown Baker Collects! A Selection of Contemporary Art from the Richard Brown Baker Collection, April 24–June 22, 1975 (Yale 1975, no. 20 p. 65 b/w ill, p. 68 b/w ill. [detail]).
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 20th-Century American Art from Friends' Collections, July 27–September 27, 1977 (Whitney Museum 1977).
Gallery of the Century Association, New York, Selected Paintings from the Collection of Centurion Richard Brown Baker, November 4–30, 1980.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Blam! The Explosion of Pop, Minimalism, and Performance, 1958–1964, September 20–December 2, 1984 (Haskell 1984).
Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island, Fortissimo! Thirty Years from the Richard Brown Baker Collection of Contemporary Art, March 1–April 28, 1985 (Baker, R. 1985, no. 83 p. 67 ill.). Traveled to: San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, June 29–August 11, 1985; Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon, October 2–November 10, 1985.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Individuals: A Selected History of Contemporary Art, 1945–1986, December 10, 1986–January 10, 1988 (Singerman 1986).
Royal Academy of Arts, London, Pop Art, September 13–December 15, 1991 (not Montreal) (Livingstone 1991a, no. 148 p. 79 color ill.). Traveled to: Museum Ludwig, Cologne, January 23–April 19, 1992 (Livingstone 1992c, no. 21 n.p. color ill.); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, June 16–September 14, 1992 (Livingstone 1992a, p. 75 color ill.); Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Montreal, October 23, 1992–January 24, 1993 (revised and re-organized with a selection of prints) (Livingstone 1992b).
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, October 7, 1993–January 16, 1994 (not Columbus) (Waldman 1993b, no. 57 n.p. color ill.). Traveled to: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, January 26–April 3, 1994; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Montreal, May 26–September 5, 1994; Haus der Kunst, Munich, October 13, 1994–January 9, 1995 (included early works) (Waldman 1994, no. 57 n.p. color ill.); Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany, February 8–April 30, 1995 (included early works) (Waldman 1994, no. 57 n.p. color ill.); Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, June 2–September 3, 1995 (included early works) (Waldman 1994, no. 57 n.p. color ill.); Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, September 21, 1995–January 7, 1996 (abridged version) (Waldman 1994, no. 57 n.p. color ill.).
Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland, Roy Lichtenstein, May 24–September 27, 1998 (not in cat.) (Beyeler [Fondation] 1998).
Menil Collection, Houston, Pop Art: US/UK Connections, 1956–1966, January 26–May 13, 2001 (Menil 2001, no. 11 p. 133 color ill.).
Louisiana Museum of Art, Humlebaek, Denmark, Roy Lichtenstein: All about Art, August 22, 2003–January 18, 2004 (not Humlebaek) (Holm, Tøjner, and Caiger-Smith 2003a, no. 7 n.p. color ill.). Traveled to: Hayward Gallery, London, February 26–May 16, 2004 (as Roy Lichtenstein); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, June 24–September 27, 2004 (as Roy Lichtenstein) (Holm, Tøjner, and Caiger-Smith 2003b, no. 7 n.p. color ill.); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, October 20, 2004–February 22, 2005 (as Roy Lichtenstein) (Holm, Tøjner, and Caiger-Smith 2003b, no. 7 n.p. color ill.).
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, May 16–September 3, 2012 (only Chicago) (Rondeau and Wagstaff, Sheena 2012, no. 9 n.p. color ill.). Traveled to: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., October 14, 2012–January 13, 2013; Tate Modern, London, February 21–May 27, 2013 (as Lichtenstein: A Retrospective) (Dunne 2012); Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris, July 3–November 4, 2013 (as Roy Lichtenstein, revised and reorganized) (Dunne 2013); (Pompidou 2013); (Morineau 2013a).
Alfieri, Bruno. "USA: Verso la fine della pittura 'astratta'?/Vers la fin de la peinture 'abstraite'?/Towards the End of 'Abstract' Painting?" Metro (Milan), nos. 4–5 (May 1962), no. 22 p. 10 b/w ill.
Borsick, Helen. "Roy Lichtenstein Makes Splash As Pop Artist." Plain Dealer (Cleveland), April 28, 1963, p. 2G b/w ill. (installation view, 1962a New York Castelli).
Dalí, Salvador. "How an Elvis Presley Becomes a Roy Lichtenstein." Translated from the French by Albert Field. Arts Magazine (New York) 41, no. 6 (April 1967), fig. B p. 27 b/w ill.
Coplans, John, ed. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1972, no. 4 n.p. following p. 68 b/w ill.
Hendrickson, Janis. Roy Lichtenstein. Cologne: Benedikt Taschen, 1988, p. 15 b/w ill.
Peters, E. Brooks. "Baker's Dozen." Quest (March 1992), p. 35 ill.
Hendra, Tony. Brad '61: Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man. New York: Pantheon Books, 1993, p. 17 color ill.
Baker, Richard Brown. "The Days and Nights of a Collector." Paris Review 41, no. 152 (Fall 1999), p. 181 b/w ill.
Marter, Joan, ed. Off Limits: Rutgers University and the Avant-Garde, 1957–1963. Newark, N.J.: Newark Museum; New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1999. Exhibition catalogue (1999 Newark, N.J, Newark Museum), no. 19 n.p. color ill. [not exhibited].
Hendricks, Norine S. "Pop Goes the Artist: Roy Lichtenstein." Timeline (Columbus: Ohio Historical Society) 17, no. 5 (September–October 2000), p. 15 color ill.
Lobel, Michael. Image Duplicator: Roy Lichtenstein and the Emergence of Pop Art. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002, no. 16 n.p. facing p. 42 b/w ill.
Louisiana revy (Humlebaek, Denmark). Special issue, Roy Lichtenstein 44, no. 1 (August 2003), no. 7 n.p. color ill.
Van de Velde, Ronny. Artists' Handbook: George Wittenborn's Guestbook, with 21st Century Additions. Ghent: Ludion, 2007, no. H32 color ill.
Farrell, Jennifer. "Reflections on a Gift: Richard Brown Baker and Roy Lichtenstein." Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin Recent Acquisitions (2008), no. 1 p. 46 color ill.
Bader, Graham. Hall of Mirrors: Roy Lichtenstein and the Face of Painting in the 1960s. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2010, no. 3.8 p. 94 b/w ill.
Bader, Graham. "Emptied Gesture: Roy Lichtenstein's 'Brushstrokes.'" Artforum International 49, no. 10 (Summer 2011), p. 346 color ill.
Entry Updated October 26, 2023