In both Visitation I and Visitation II the figurative elements are related to each other and are linked to the total design by large gestural sweeps and pools of lithographic tusche. This has been applied in a variety of ways: by brush, by wiping with fabric and by finger, and by dripping and splashing onto the stone. The scribbled marks were made by lithographic crayon. This format is typical of the lithographs which Rauschenberg produced from 1962 onwards. The range of imagery employed by Rauschenberg is drawn from modern life and popular culture. Recurrent themes include sports and sportsmen, politicians and public figures (especially the American Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson), fine art, technology (particularly space travel), and modern city architecture. The images are arranged in a seemingly casual or random way and are meant to be read collectively rather than as individual images. The result is similar to the experience Rauschenberg described in reference to street life in a modern city: 'all you saw was a general no-colour in which the tone stood out' (quoted in Colin Tomkins, The Bride and the Bachelors, New York 1965, pp. 200-201).
Rauschenberg Graphic Art, exhibition catalogue, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 1970, reproduced p.18 no.29
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1988, pp.447-8, reproduced