Oil, graphite pencil on canvas
70 x 48 1/2 in. (177.8 x 123.2 cm)
Signed and dated verso, top center: 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: Man with Crossed Arms (Cézanne), 1962 (RLCR 710) Photo: Brian Forrest, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
RLCR 710 (LC 61; RL 0096)
Man with Crossed Arms (Cézanne)
Title Source
Alternate titles and sources: Man with Arms Folded (Castelli; RL Register); Man with Folded Arms (Cézanne) (RL Studio Card)
Oil, graphite pencil on canvas
70 x 48 1/2 in. (177.8 x 123.2 cm)
Signed and dated verso, top center: rf Lichtenstein / '62
Stretcher: UP [twice]; #61 [twice]

After Cézanne's Man with Crossed Arms (Homme aux bras croisés), c. 1899.

Photo: Brian Forrest, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, Milan, June 1963 (via Leo Castelli Gallery, New York City; via Galerie Ileana Sonnabend, Paris)
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Amerikansk Pop-Konst, February 29–April 12, 1964 (only Stockholm) (Hultén 1964). Traveled to: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark, April 17–May 24, 1964 (Louisiana Museum 1964); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, June 22–July 26, 1964 (as De nieuwe amerikaanse kunst/American Pop Art) (Solomon, A. 1964b).
Galleria Apollinaire, Milan, Lichtenstein, November 26–December 1965. (ill. on exhibition announcement).
Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin, Italy, New-Dada e Pop Art Newyorkesi, April 2–May 4, 1969 (Malle 1969, no. 46 n.p. b/w ill. [as Man with Folded Arms]).
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Roy Lichtenstein, September 19–November 9, 1969 (only New York) (Waldman 1969, no. 11 p. 33 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.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Individuals: A Selected History of Contemporary Art, 1945–1986, December 10, 1986–January 10, 1988 (Singerman 1986).
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Hand-Painted Pop: American Art in Transition, 1955–62, December 6, 1992–March 7, 1993 (DeSalvo and Schimmel 1992, p. 108 b/w ill.). Traveled to: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, April 3–June 20, 1993; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, July 9–October 10, 1993.
Gagosian Gallery (980 Madison Avenue), New York, Roy Lichtenstein: Early Black and White Paintings, November 3–December 22, 2001 (Gagosian, New York 2001, p. 25 b/w ill.).
Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Florida, Roy Lichtenstein: Inside/Outside, December 11, 2001–February 24, 2002 (Clearwater 2001, no. 3 n.p. b/w ill. [as Man With Folded Arms]).
Rosenblum, Robert. "Roy Lichtenstein and the 'Realist' Revolt/La rivolta 'realista' americana: Lichtenstein." Metro (Milan), no. 8 (May 1963), no.14 p. 45 b/w ill.
Loran, Erle. "Cezanne and Lichtenstein: Problems of 'Transformation.'" Artforum 2, no. 3 (September 1963), p. 34 b/w ill.
Blok, C. "Roy Lichtenstein." Museumjournaal voor moderne Kunst 12, no. 10 (1967), p. 281 b/w ill.
Boatto, Alberto. Pop Art in U.S.A.: Dichiarazioni di Dine, Johns, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, Segal, Warhol. Milan: Lerici, 1967, n.p. b/w ill.
Ashton, Dore. "New York Commentary." Studio International 178, no. 916 (November 1969), no. 3 p. 177 b/w ill.
Hunter, Sam. "Neorealismo, Assemblage, Pop Art in America." L'arte moderna (Milan) 13, no. 112 (1969), p. 159 b/w ill.
Crespo, Ángel. Roy Lichtenstein y el arte pop. Mayagüez: Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1970. Exhibition catalogue (1970 Mayagüez Universidad de Puerto Rico), no. 17 n.p. b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Crespo, Ángel. "Roy Lichtenstein y el arte pop." Revista de arte/The Art Review (Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayagüez), no. 5 (June 1970), no. 17 p. 21 b/w ill.
Waldman, Diane. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1971, no. 35 n.p. b/w ill.
Kurtz, Bruce. "Interview with Giuseppe Panza di Biumo." Arts Magazine 46, no. 5 (March 1972), no. 1 p. 41 b/w ill.
Coplans, John, ed. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1972, no. 15 n.p. b/w ill.
Celant, Germano. Das Bild einer Geschichte 1956–1976: Die Sammlung Panza di Biumo. Milan: Electa, 1980, p. 71 b/w ill.
Boatto, Alberto. Grande Opere: Pop Art. Rome: Editori Laterza, 1983, no. 103 n.p. b/w ill. (as Cézanne).
Alloway, Lawrence. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Abbeville Press, 1983, no. 14 p. 20 b/w ill. (as Man with Folded Arms).
Koshalek, Richard. The Museum of Contemporary Art: The Panza Collection. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 1985. Exhibition catalogue, b/w ill.
Knight, Christopher. Art of the Sixties and Seventies: The Panza Collection. New York: Rizzoli, 1987, no. 1 p. 161 b/w ill.
Busche, Ernst A. Roy Lichtenstein: Das Frühwerk, 1942–1960. Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1988, fig. 133 p. 233 b/w ill.
Hendrickson, Janis. Roy Lichtenstein. Cologne: Benedikt Taschen, 1988, p. 38 b/w ill.
Deitcher, S. David. "Teaching the Late Modern Artist: From Mnemonics to the Technology of Gestalt." PhD diss., City University of New York, New York, 1989, no. 2 n.p. b/w ill. (as Man with Folded Arms).
Mahsun, Carol A., ed. Pop Art: The Critical Dialogue. Studies in the Fine Arts. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1989, p. 86 b/w ill.
Lobel, Michael. Image Duplicator: Roy Lichtenstein and the Emergence of Pop Art. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002, no. 97 p. 152 b/w ill.
Mercurio, Gianni, ed. Lichtenstein: Kunst als Motiv. Translated from the English. Cologne: DuMont, 2010. Exhibition catalogue (2010 Milan Triennale), p. 122 b/w ill., fig. 16 n.p. following p. 309 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Mercurio, Gianni, ed. Roy Lichtenstein: Meditations on Art. Milan: Skira; distributed by Rizzoli, New York, 2010. Exhibition catalogue (2010 Milan Triennale), p. 122 b/w ill., fig. 16 n.p. following p. 309 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Mercurio, Gianni, ed. Roy Lichtenstein: Meditations on Art. Milan: Skira Editore, 2010. Exhibition catalogue (2010 Milan Triennale), p. 122 b/w ill., fig. 16 n.p. following p. 309 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Entry Updated October 26, 2023