Tondo (Butterflies) (1955)
About this artwork
‘Tondo’ is a Renaissance term for a circular work of art. In referring to an art historical term in the title, perhaps Warhol is beginning to contemplate his move beyond the commercial art stage to fine art. Typical of his work of the 1950s he has combined his blotted-line technique with vibrant colours. These were possibly added at one of his colouring parties, hosted at the fashionable Serendipity 3 café after its opening in 1954. He would encourage his friends – some of whom would have helped him create the original illustrations - to colour the works with an inventiveness that adds to their whimsical nature. This process looks forward to the production methods of Warhol’s legendary studio, the Factory, in the 1960s.
- title: Tondo (Butterflies)
- accession number: AR00250
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- materials: Ink, graphite and dye on paper
- date created: 1955
- measurements: 66.00 x 53.00 cm
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
- copyright: © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2016.
Andy Warhol was born 'Andrew Warhola' to Slovakian immigrant parents living in Pittsburgh in America. Warhol's subject matter was taken from popular culture, in the form of advertising, comics, magazines and packaging. He was able to produce his works quickly by transferring images onto canvas or paper through photography and screenprinting, sometimes with the help of assistants. Warhol stated that he wanted to make works that showed no trace of having been produced by hand. His interest in mass production reflected the fast-developing consumer culture he recognised in America. His New York studio, 'The Factory,' became a popular meeting place for artists, drop-outs, celebrities and bands.