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frame: 790 x 652 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
Warhol’s portrait of the Marx brothers is from the series ‘Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century’. It was the first collaboration with the gallery owner Robert Feldman, whom Warhol continued to work with throughout the 1980s. The series of “Jewish Geniuses” (as Warhol referred to the project), featured portraits of a selection of notable Jews such as Albert Einstein and Sarah Bernhardt. As they were all deceased Warhol had to source images from archival material. The image he used here was a film still taken from the 1946 film ‘A Night in Casablanca’. Throughout the series Warhol employs abstract, collage-like blocks of colour which contrast with the photographic print. When the series was first shown at the Jewish Museum in 1980, it received mixed responses.