Acrylic, graphite pencil on canvas
67 3/4 x 55 3/4 in. (172.1 x 141.6 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: Portrait of Madame Cézanne, 1962 (RLCR 716)
RLCR 716 (LC 80; RL 0109)
Portrait of Madame Cézanne
Title Source
Castelli; RL Studio Card
Alternate title and source: Portrait of Mm. Cézanne (RL Register)
Acrylic, graphite pencil on canvas
67 3/4 x 55 3/4 in. (172.1 x 141.6 cm)
Signed and dated verso, top center: rf Lichtenstein / '62
Irving Blum, Los Angeles, c. 1964–67 (via Leo Castelli Gallery, New York City) [Irving and Shirley Blum, Los Angeles]
Shirley Blum, 1976 (by transfer)
Jason Blum, Los Angeles, February 1978 (by gift)
Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles, Roy Lichtenstein, April 1–20, 1963.
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, California, Roy Lichtenstein, April 18–May 28, 1967 (only Pasadena) (Coplans 1967a, no. 11 n.p. facing p. 8 b/w ill.). Traveled to: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, June 23–July 30, 1967.
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Roy Lichtenstein, November 4–December 17, 1967 (only Amsterdam) (Stedelijk Museum 1967). Traveled to: Tate Gallery, London, January 6–February 4, 1968 (Tate 1968b); Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland, February 23–March 31, 1968 (Kunsthalle Bern 1968); (Tate 1968a); Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover, Germany, April 13–May 19, 1968 (Kestner-Gesellschaft 1968).
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Roy Lichtenstein, September 19–November 9, 1969 (not Columbus) (Waldman 1969, no. 12 p. 32 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.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Art About Art, July 19–September 24, 1978 (only New York) (Lipman and Marshall, R. 1978, p. 103 b/w ill.). Traveled to: North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina, October 15–November 26, 1978; Frederick S. Wight Art Gallery, University of California, Los Angeles, December 17, 1978–February 11, 1979; Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon, March 6–April 15, 1979.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, October 7, 1993–January 16, 1994 (not Columbus) (Waldman 1993b, no. 35 n.p. following p. 33 b/w 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. 35 n.p. following p. 33 b/w ill.); Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany, February 8–April 30, 1995 (included early works) (Waldman 1994, no. 35 n.p. following p. 33 b/w ill.); Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, June 2–September 3, 1995 (included early works) (Waldman 1994, no. 35 n.p. following p. 33 b/w ill.); Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, September 21, 1995–January 7, 1996 (abridged version) (Waldman 1994, no. 35 n.p. following p. 33 b/w ill.).
Gagosian Gallery (980 Madison Avenue), New York, Roy Lichtenstein: Early Black and White Paintings, November 3–December 22, 2001 (Gagosian, New York 2001, p. 27 b/w ill.).
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio, Extended Loan, January 25, 2002–April 26, 2012.
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, May 16–September 3, 2012 (only Chicago, Washington, D.C.) (Rondeau and Wagstaff, Sheena 2012, no. 63 n.p. b/w 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).
The Frances Leham Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, Extended Loan, February 1, 2013–2020, EL 2013.1.
Kozloff, Max. "Art." Nation 197, no. 14 (November 2, 1963), p. 285 b/w ill.
Loran, Erle. "Cezanne and Lichtenstein: Problems of 'Transformation.'" Artforum 2, no. 3 (September 1963), p. 35 b/w ill.
Loran, Erle. "Pop Artists or Copy Cats?" ARTnews 62, no. 5 (September 1963), p. 49 b/w ill.
Lippard, Lucy R. Pop Art. New York: Thames & Hudson, 1966, no. 73 p. 95 b/w ill.
Von Meier, Kurt. "Los Angeles." Art International 11, no. 8 (October 20, 1967), p. 59 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. 18 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. 18 p. 21 b/w ill.
Waldman, Diane. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1971, no. 34 n.p. b/w ill.
Coplans, John, ed. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1972, no. 14 n.p. b/w ill.
Dubreuil-Blondin, Nicole. La Fonction critique dans le Pop Art américain. Montreal: Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1980, no. 72 n.p. 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. 14 p. 315 b/w ill.
Mahsun, Carol Anne Runyon. Pop Art and the Critics. Studies in the Fine Arts. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1987, no. 12 p. 57 b/w ill.
Hendrickson, Janis. Roy Lichtenstein. Cologne: Benedikt Taschen, 1988, p. 52 b/w ill.
Sandler, Irving. American Art of the 1960s. New York: Harper & Row, 1988, no. 61 p. 167 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. 1 n.p. b/w ill.
Livingstone, Marco. Pop Art: A Continuing History. 1st ed. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1990, no. 104 p. 77 b/w ill.
Hindry, Ann, ed. Artstudio. Special issue, Roy Lichtenstein, no. 20 (Spring 1991), p. 96 b/w ill.
Hendra, Tony. Brad '61: Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man. New York: Pantheon Books, 1993, p. 12 b/w ill.
Whiting, Cécile. A Taste for Pop: Pop Art, Gender, and Consumer Culture. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1997, no. 41 p. 121 b/w ill.
Clearwater, Bonnie. Roy Lichtenstein: Inside/Outside. North Miami: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2001. Exhibition catalogue (2001 North Miami MOCA), fig. 5 p. 23 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Lobel, Michael. Image Duplicator: Roy Lichtenstein and the Emergence of Pop Art. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002, no. 99 p. 153 b/w ill.
Fedders, Kristin Utter. "Pop Art at the 1964/65 New York World's Fair." PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 2005, no. 84 p. 304 ill.
Doris, Sara Kathleen. Pop Art and the Contest over American Culture. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2007, no. 39 p. 217 b/w ill.
Golec, Michael J. The Brillo Box Archive: Aesthetics, Design, and Art. Hanover, N.H.: Dartmouth College Press, 2008, no. 20 p. 106 b/w ill.
Bader, Graham, ed. Roy Lichtenstein. October Files 7. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2009, p. 92 b/w ill.
Mercurio, Gianni, ed. Lichtenstein: Kunst als Motiv. Translated from the English. Cologne: DuMont, 2010. Exhibition catalogue (2010 Milan Triennale), p. 58 b/w ill., p. 123 b/w ill., fig. 19 n.p. following p. 309 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Bader, Graham. Hall of Mirrors: Roy Lichtenstein and the Face of Painting in the 1960s. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2010, no. 0.2 p. xix b/w ill.
Mercurio, Gianni, ed. Roy Lichtenstein: Meditations on Art. Milan: Skira; distributed by Rizzoli, New York, 2010. Exhibition catalogue (2010 Milan Triennale), p. 58 b/w ill., p. 123 b/w ill., fig. 19 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. 58 b/w ill., p. 123 b/w ill., fig. 19 n.p. following p. 309 b/w ill. [not exhibited].
Entry Updated November 16, 2023