Oil, graphite pencil on canvas
56 5/16 x 68 1/16 in. (143 x 172.8 cm)
Signed and dated verso, upper left: rf Lichtenstein / '62
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: Takka Takka, 1962 (RLCR 725)
RLCR 725 (LC 37; RL 0081)
Takka Takka
Title Source
Castelli; RL Register; RL Studio Card
Oil, graphite pencil on canvas
56 5/16 x 68 1/16 in. (143 x 172.8 cm)
Signed and dated verso, upper left: rf Lichtenstein / '62
Stretcher: # / 37 [twice]
David Hayes, New York City, March 1962 (via Leo Castelli Gallery, New York City)
Peter and Irene Ludwig, Aachen, Germany, August 1969 (via Galerie Ileana Sonnabend, Paris)
Mi Chou Gallery, New York, Art of Two Ages: The Hudson River School and Roy Lichtenstein, August 6–31, 1962.
Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, My Country 'Tis of Thee, November 18–December 15, 1962 (Nordland 1962, b/w ill.).
Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, New York, New York, June 29–July 25, 1964.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Roy Lichtenstein, September 19–November 9, 1969 (only New York) (Waldman 1969, no. 14 p. 29 b/w ill.). Traveled to: William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and Mary Atkins Museum of Fine Arts, Kansas City, Missouri, December 18, 1969–January 16, 1970; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, February 7–March 22, 1970; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, April 10–May 17, 1970; Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Columbus, Ohio, July 9–August 30, 1970.
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum and Fondation Corboud, Cologne, Extended Loan, February 28, 1969–February 23, 1976, Dep. 1074 (Von der Osten and Keller 1971, no. 98 color ill.).
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne, Hurra!? Vom Unsinn des Krieges: Sechste Jugendausstellung der Kölner Museen im Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, September 1, 1971–May 31, 1972 (Ronte 1971, no. 49 p. 61 b/w ill.).
Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland, Ein grosses Jahrzehnt amerikanischer Kunst, July 15–September 16, 1973 (Kunstmuseum Luzern 1973, color ill.).
Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Centre Beaubourg, Paris, Roy Lichtenstein: Dessins sans bande, January 10–February 17, 1975 (only Aachen) (Abadie 1975). Traveled to: Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, April 30–June 15, 1975 (as Roy Lichtenstein: Zeichnungen) (Schmied 1975); Neue Galerie der Stadt Aachen, Aachen, Germany, July 12–September 14, 1975 (as Pop Art: Roy Lichtenstein) (Schmied 1975).
Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel, Art of the Sixties, Europe and the U.S.A.: From the Collection of the Ludwig Museum, Cologne, April 26–July 20, 1979 (Museum Ludwig, Cologne 1979).
Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Roy Lichtenstein 1970–1980, May 8–June 28, 1981 (only Cologne, lower floor exhibit) (Cowart 1981b). Traveled to: Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, July 16–September 6, 1981; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, September 22–November 29, 1981; Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, December 16, 1981–February 7, 1982; Josef-Haubrich-Kunsthalle, Cologne, March 10–April 25, 1982 (with an additional exhibit on the Kunsthalle's lower floor showing Lichtenstein artworks from the Ludwig Collection) (Cowart 1982a); Orsanmichele, Florence, Italy, May–August 1982 (Cowart 1982b); Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, September 21–December 19, 1982 (Cowart 1982b); Fundación Juan March, Madrid, January 14–March 20, 1983 (Cowart 1982b); Ohara Museum of Art, Chuo Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, Japan, April 26–May 22, 1983 (Cowart 1982b); Seibu Museum of Art, Seibu Takanawa, Tokyo, June 1–July 13, 1983 (Cowart 1983).
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The First Show: Painting and Sculpture from Eight Collections, 1940–1980, November 20, 1983–February 19, 1984 (Brown, Julia and Johnson, B. 1983, p. 196 color ill.).
Royal Academy of Arts, London, Pop Art, September 13–December 15, 1991 (only Madrid; not in cat.) (Livingstone 1991a). Traveled to: Museum Ludwig, Cologne, January 23–April 19, 1992 (Livingstone 1992c); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, June 16–September 14, 1992 (Livingstone 1992a); Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Montreal, October 23, 1992–January 24, 1993 (revised and re-organized with a selection of prints) (Livingstone 1992b).
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Germany, LudwigsLust: Die Sammlung Peter und Irene Ludwig, June 19–October 10, 1993 (Eissenhauer 1993, no. 332 p. 365 color ill.).
Schloss Mainau, Insel Mainau, Konstanz, Germany, Made in USA: Pop Art aus dem Museum Ludwig, October 31, 1997–March 1, 1998 (not in cat.) (Fischer, A. 1997).
Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo, Pop Art Spirits: Masterpieces from the Ludwig Collection, August 15–October 5, 1998 (Sezon Museum of Art 1998, no. 26 p. 75 color ill.). Traveled to: Himeji Museum of Art, Hyogo, Japan, October 24–November 23, 1998.
Wäinö Aaltonen Museo, Turku, Finland, Pop International, June 18–October 19, 2003 (Wäinö Aaltonen Museo 2003, p. 112 color ill.).
ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark, Pop Classics: Allan d'Arcangelo, Jim Dine, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Allan Kaprow, Edward Kienholz, Yayoi Kusama, Roy Lichtenstein, Marisol, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, Wayne Thiebaud, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, May 29–September 5, 2004 (Jensen, M. 2004, p. 65 color ill.).
Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany, Funny Cuts: Cartoons und Comics in der zeitgenössischen Kunst, December 4, 2004–April 17, 2005 (Nakas 2004, no. 38 p. 21 color ill.).
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, May 16–September 3, 2012 (Rondeau and Wagstaff, Sheena 2012, no. 30 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, no. 25 p. 33 color ill.); 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, no. 25 p. 33 color ill.); (Pompidou 2013); (Morineau 2013a, no. 11 p. 78 color ill.).
Seckler, Dorothy Gees. "Folklore of the Banal." Art in America 50, no. 4 (Winter 1962), n.p. facing p. 57 b/w ill.
Selz, Peter. "A Symposium on Pop Art." Arts Magazine (New York) 37, no. 7 (April 1963), no. 5 p. 45 b/w ill., front cover b/w ill. (detail).
Lichtenstein, Roy, and Colette Roberts. "Interview de Roy Lichtenstein." Aujourd'hui: Art et architecture 10, nos. 55–56 (December 1966–January 1967), no. 8 pp. 125–126 b/w ill. (foldout).
Hamilton, Richard. "Roy Lichtenstein." Studio International 175, no. 896 (January 1968), p. 23 b/w ill.
Becker, Wolfgang. "Die Sammlung Ludwig im Wallraf-Richartz-Museum." Köln: Vierteljahrschrift für die Freunde der Stadt, Verkehrsamt der Stadt Köln, no. 2 (June 1969), p. 95 color ill.
Kerber, Bernhard. Roy Lichtenstein: Ertrinkendes Mädchen. Stuttgart: Reclam, 1970, p. 4 b/w ill.
Tuchman, Phyllis. "American Art in Germany: The History of a Phenomenon." Artforum 9, no. 3 (November 1970), p. 63 b/w ill.
Weber, Jürgen. Pop Art: Happenings und Neue Realisten. Munich: Heinz Moos Verlag, 1970, no. 75 p. 59 b/w ill.
Aue, Walter. Typos I: Zeit/Beispiele. Bad Homburg: Tsamas Verlag, 1971, p. 20 b/w ill.
Kerber, Bernhard. Amerikanische Kunst seit 1945: Ihre theoretischen Grundlagen. Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam Jun., 1971, p. 25 b/w ill.
Waldman, Diane. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1971, no. 22 n.p. color ill.
Coplans, John, ed. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1972, no. 10 n.p. b/w ill.
Damus, Martin. Funktionen der bildenden Kunst im Spätkapitalismus: Untersucht anhand der “avant-gardistischen" Kunst der sechziger Jahre. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1973, no. 24 p. 72 color ill.
Alloway, Lawrence. American Pop Art. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1974. Exhibition catalogue (1974 New York Whitney), no. 65 n.p. facing p. 75 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Packard, Vance. Die geheimen Verführer: Der Griff nach dem Unbewussten in Jedermann. Frankfurt am Main: Ullstein, 1976, p. 37 b/w ill.
Zänker, Jürgen. "Walter Benjamins Kunstwerk-Aufsatz im Lichte der Pop-Art: Dargestellt am Beispiel Roy Lichtensteins." In Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch: Westdeutsches Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte, vol. 42, by Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne. Cologne: DuMont Buchverlag, 1981, no. 2 p. 306 ill.
Ruhrberg, Karl. "Kunst über Kunst: Roy Lichtenstein." Museen der Stadt Köln Bulletin 2 (1982), p. 21 ill.
Alloway, Lawrence. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Abbeville Press, 1983, no. 25 p. 29 color ill.
Abbott, L. L. "Comic Art: Characteristics and Potentialities of a Narrative Medium." Journal of Popular Culture 19, no. 4 (Spring 1986), no. 5 p. 163 b/w ill.
Adler, Edward Jerome. "American Painting and the Vietnam War." PhD diss., School of Education, Health, Nursing, and Arts Professions, New York University, New York, 1986, no. 101 p. 487 b/w ill.
Gohr, Siegfried. Museum Ludwig Cologne: Painters, Sculptures, Environments from Expressionism to the Present Day. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1986, no. 148 p.190 color ill.
Hendrickson, Janis. Roy Lichtenstein. Cologne: Benedikt Taschen, 1988, p. 23 color ill.
Steiner, Wendy. "Divide and Narrate: Seurat, Warhol, and Lichtenstein." In Pictures of Romance: Form against Context in Painting and Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988, no. 36 p. 158 b/w ill.
Von Hassell, Christa. "Atelierbesuch: Ein Pop-Star kommt zurück." Pan (Offenburg), no. 7 (September 1988), p. 62 color ill.
Busche, Ernst A. Roy Lichtenstein: Pop-Paintings, 1961–1969. Schirmer's visuelle Bibliothek 6. Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 1989, no. 17 n.p. color ill.
Osterwold, Tilman. Pop Art. Cologne: Benedikt Taschen, 1989, p. 139 color ill.
Hindry, Ann, ed. Artstudio. Special issue, Roy Lichtenstein, no. 20 (Spring 1991), p. 10 b/w ill.
Contemporary Great Masters: Roy Lichtenstein. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd., 1992, no. 66 p. 89 color ill.
Mamiya, Christin J. Pop Art and Consumer Culture: American Super Market. Edited by William H. Goetzmann. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992, no. 46 p. 93 b/w ill.
Waldman, Diane. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 1993. Exhibition catalogue (1993 New York Guggenheim), no. 82 n.p. facing p. 95 color ill. [not exhibited].
Waldman, Diane. Roy Lichtenstein. Translated from the English by Bram Opstelten and Magda Moses. New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 1994. Exhibition catalogue (1993 New York Guggenheim), no. 82 n.p. facing p. 95 color ill. [not exhibited].
Phillips, Lisa. The American Century: Art and Culture, 1950–2000. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1999. Exhibition catalogue (1999 New York Whitney), no. 217 p. 139 color ill. [not exhibited].
Serafini, Giuliano. Art e Dossier. Special issue, Lichtenstein (Milan), no. 152 (January 2000), p. 12 color ill.
Honnef, Klaus. Pop Art. Ed. Uta Grosenick. Cologne: Taschen, 2004, p. 51 color ill.
Faton-Boyancé, Jeanne, ed. L'objet d'art. Special issue, Roy Lichtenstein exposition au Centre Pompidou, no. 69 (July 2013), p. 23 color ill.
Entry Updated October 27, 2023