Andy Warhol’s print Leonardo da Vinci, The Annunciation, 1472) (F. & S. II.322) is based on Leonardo da Vinci’s The Annunciation (c. 1472-1475) now in the Uffizi gallery in Florence. Warhol has cropped Leonardo’s original to focus on the hands of the Angel Gabriel and Mary, the walled garden, and the landscape in the background. He replaces the muted colours of the original with greens and yellows. By drawing over this image, Warhol has changed the emphasis to the trees and mountains in the background, rather than the hands of the foreground.
Produced towards the end of his life, Warhol’s series, Details of Renaissance Paintings, render masterworks of Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Paolo Uccello in the twentieth-century medium of screen printing. Warhol first applied printing to Renaissance masterpieces after seeing the Mona Lisa in New York in 1963. Two decades later, he returned to the subject with the eyes of a mature artist, making bolder compositional choices with cropping and overdrawing. In reproducing and reinventing these masterpieces, Warhol placed himself in the canon of greats.