Guide to the Catalogue

Welcome to Roy Lichtenstein: A Catalogue Raisonné, a digital publication by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation that is available to users at no charge. It was launched on the occasion of the artist's centennial in October 2023.   

The chapters in this guide outline the scope of our catalogue raisonné project, specify research methodology and resources used, and define the organizational principles that inform the catalogue entries.

The content on these pages was created from documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation's complete or current knowledge. Review and updating of records is ongoing.


Classification: Collage

In this catalogue, collage is defined as a work made of paper attachments on board or paper. Most of Lichtenstein's collages are preparatory works for sculptures, prints and paintings and reflect the creative process of adding and removing material.

The sub-group collage (on a print) describes works with cut paper attachments on pre-printed supports, such as print proofs or postcards.


Collages that lead to a known final work carry the title of that work followed by "(Study)," e.g., RLCR 2739, Mermaid (Study).

Titles of collages with no or unknown related final works were assigned following the methodology described in 6. TITLES.


Collages not dated by the artist have usually been assigned the date noted on the related RL Studio Cards (located in RLF Archives), unless research suggests a different date or date range. The artist wrote specific dates on the recto of a small group of collages, e.g., RLCR 2963, Surrealist Head (Study). These dates are likely the dates when a collage was handed over to a maquette builder.

Media Lines

All visible media on the artwork recto is described. Excluded are methods of attachment (e.g., liquid adhesive, pressure-sensitive adhesive film) because they are invisible from the recto. Attachment is implied.

Many collages are marked up by the artist with diagrams, arrows and annotations providing directions for the builder of the related sculpture. These are not transcribed since they can be viewed in the Primary Image.

See also: 11. INSCRIPTIONS

Collage media is described in the following order:

tape (black outlines)

cut painted paper (solid shapes)

cut printed paper (patterned and solid shapes)

cut paper (blank paper)

acrylic (if painted directly on board)

marker (black outlines and other)

colored pencil

graphite pencil


Media is followed by support, usually "on board" or "on paper." Most collages are on white museum board. Where multiple adjacent supports were used, the number of boards or sheets is given and it is indicated if they are joined. Secondary supports are only included when considered to be original.

Collage elements sometimes overlap and may be adhered to each other rather than just the support. In this catalogue, we simply write "on board" (or other support), instead of describing the nexus of attachments. The media used for writing marks on collaged elements, as well as on the support, are listed per the order above.


The qualifier "cut" describes collage elements as in "cut painted paper."  We indicate if forms were torn instead of cut.

Cut painted paper stands for any solid-colored painted paper prepared in Lichtenstein's studio, whether matte (e.g., Ultra Blue, Cadmium Red Medium) or metallic (e.g., silver, graphite).

Cut painted paper with sand refers to collage elements for which sand was mixed with the acrylic for textural effect.

Cut stencil-painted paper refers to patterned paper to which dots and diagonals were applied via paint through stencil. According to the artist's studio assistants, cut stencil-painted paper was made with oil paint. We made every effort to distinguish between stencil-painted and printed dots. Brush marks and irregular application can usually be discerned in and around dots during physical examination, but traces of these same irregularities are sometimes confusingly found in printed papers. This challenge, combined with our reliance on examination reports of varying depth, means that readers will sometimes find dots that are stencil-painted, but erroneously listed as printed, and vice versa. 

Cut printed paper includes solid-colored and patterned (dots, diagonals, wood grain) printed paper.   

Cut printed and painted paper stands for collage elements with both printed and painted parts. 

Drawing media on collage elements is given after the attachment.


Entries usually include both board (or sheet) and image dimensions. If a work was overmatted and could not be unframed for examination, the image dimensions are given. RLF Archives material and other sources were consulted for measurements the catalogue team was unable to take in person. Sources are cited in Remarks.

See also: 10. DIMENSIONS