Saint Apollonia (F. & S. II.331) is a signed screen print made by the critically acclaimed 20th century artist, Andy Warhol. Made in 1984, the print comes in an edition size of 250 and depicts Saint Apollonia, a martyr from the 2nd century who was tortured by Alexandrian mobs during the violent uprisings against Christians in Egypt. The saint is depicted holding a tooth with a pair of pliers because it is believed that she was tortured by having her teeth pulled out. Warhol renders Saint Apollonia using bright blue crayon-like lines that delineate her stern and stoic expression.
Saint Apollonia (F. & S. II.331) is one of four screen prints in Warhol's Saint Apollonia collection. The image is taken from a portrait of Apollonia produced by the Italian painter Piero Della Francesca which dates back to the 15th century. In Saint Apollonia (F. & S. II.331), Warhol paints the woman against a black, cracked backdrop which brings a more sombre tone to the image in comparison with the other artworks in the collection which are dominated by bright and bold colours.
Warhol is known for producing portraits of American celebrities like Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. By recreating Saint Apollonia’s portrait in his characteristic Pop Art style, Warhol immortalises the saint and transforms her into a 20th century Pop Art icon.