Online caption

Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) was a major American painter, sculptor and printmaker, whose radical combination of action painting with found objects in the 1950s helped prepare the way for Pop Art. Mapplethorpe portrays him as a worker in dark overalls. His outspread arms, open hands and compassionate facial expression make him look like a saint. Mapplethorpe did something similar in a photograph of the Italian artist, Francesco Clemente.