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: Sculpture (Editioned)

Catalogue entries for editioned sculpture provide conception and fabrication dates, dimensions, and transcriptions of inscriptions with brief summaries highlighting inconsistencies within editions.

All fabricators involved with an edition are documented, including their location at the time of fabrication and, when available, key workshop staff. Publishers and commissioners involved in the production and distribution of a sculpture are also listed. 

Remarks address conflicting information, historical cataloguing errors or other unclear details.

Primary Images usually illustrate an individual work in an edition, often with multiple images taken from various angles. Research Images document inscriptions or other details of interest.

Edition Numbers

When edition numbers for individual casts could not be confirmed, the edition number is given as "unkn" to mean unknown. The works may or may not correspond to other works in the same edition with incomplete provenance.


Conception dates for editioned sculpture are based on the year a collage or prototype, used for the edition's fabrication, was completed. Approximate dates are indicated with circa "c." Fabrication dates follow the conception date in parentheses and are based on the year(s) in which individual works in an edition were delivered by the fabricator to the artist’s studio to be painted, usually shortly after delivery.


Dimensions reflect fabricators' dimensions recorded in official paperwork or documented in studio files maintained by the artist or his estate whenever available; otherwise, they stem from Castelli records, RL Studio Cards or the catalogue team's research.


Despite extensive research efforts, physical examination or documentation of inscriptions was not always possible. In these cases, the signature transcription says “[no information].” When information came from an external source, e.g., an auction catalogue, inscriptions are given verbatim with a reference.


Provenance histories for editions of 3, 6, 8, and 12 works are provided. For larger sculpture editions, provenance has not been researched and descriptive details, such as individual signature transcriptions, are not given. Entries follow instead a format similar to print entries.

(Contrary to entries for large sculpture editions, the catalogue provides provenance for all of Lichtenstein's banner and tapestry editions, regardless of their size, to document their complex histories.) See: 4.2. BANNER (EDITIONED)


Primary sources consulted are mainly the rich materials in the RLF Archives, such as studio correspondence, fabricator agreements and invoices, publisher’s royalty reports, shipping receipts, business logs and loan forms. In addition, frequent conversations were held with former fabricator staff and studio assistants. James dePasquale, Lichtenstein's assistant since the early 1970s, was primarily responsible for painting the artist's smaller sculptures after they were delivered by the fabricator to the artist’s studio. He served as an invaluable source for questions about media details and process.  

Posthumous Casts

In accordance with Lichtenstein's intentions or unrealized plans left at the time of his passing, the Estate of the artist, after consultation with the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, produced a select group of monumental and smaller casts. They are described as such in their catalogue entries.

In all cases, production was based on extended research and documentation with historical indications. The same fabricators were used for the posthumous casts as for the lifetime casts, with oversight provided by the artist's assistant James dePasquale, reflecting a standard studio practice. Often, the casts were made with higher quality materials and improved engineering, paint systems, etc., due to a less restrictive budget.

Posthumous casts, which do not reflect or expand lifetime editions are not included in the catalogue. For further information see: Projects of the ERL.