frame: 770 x 582 x 38 mm
Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
The 1980s saw Warhol return to the work of painters such as Sandro Botticelli as a source of inspiration. He first experimented with this in relation to Mona Lisa’s visit to New York in 1963, producing a variety of works based on Leonardo’s mysterious woman. This screenprint is based on a painting by the German artist Johann Tischbein. It depicts 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.