About this artwork
In the 1980s Warhol turned to the work of painters such as Sandro Botticelli as a source of inspiration. He first experimented with this on the Mona Lisa’s visit to New York in 1963, producing a variety of prints of Leonardo’s mysterious woman. This screenprint is based on a painting by the German artist Johann Tischbein. It depicts Johann von Goethe, a key figure in German literature as a traveller in a landscape of ruins. Warhol has cropped the original composition so as to create a head and shoulders portrait of the writer. Goethe had contemplated painting as an early career choice and published a book on the theory of colour. As the first person to study the psychological affects of colour, it is interesting to think what he would make of Warhol’s representation of him as a Pop icon.
- title: Goethe
- accession number: AR00439
- artist: Andy WarholAmerican (1928 - 1987)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Work on paper
- materials: Screenprint on paper
- date created: 1982
- measurements: 67.80 x 75.00 cm (74.10 x 81.40 x 3.80 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.