Saint Apollonia (F. & S. II.332) is a signed screen print made by the ‘Father of Pop Art’, Andy Warhol. Produced in 1984, this print comes in an edition size of 250 and depicts the martyr, Saint Apollonia, who was tortured by Alexandrian mobs during the uprisings against Christians in Egypt in the 2nd century. The image is inspired by the portrait of the saint made by Italian painter Piero Della Francesca in the 15th century. The original painting hangs in the National Gallery in Washington D.C.
Saint Apollonia is rendered in a variety of cool blue tones and she is set against an earthy backdrop. Warhol uses thick blue lines to delineate the woman, a characteristic element of the artist’s visual style. Saint Apollonia (F. & S. II.332) is one of four prints in the Saint Apollonia collection, all of which depict the saint in the same pose, inspired by Francesca’s impressive painting.
Although Warhol uses a variety of bright and bold colours throughout the Saint Apollonia collection, the colours are more muted in comparison with his other artworks, such as his portraits of Marilyn Monroe. Warhol often transforms images by applying colour in broad strokes and misaligning layers to contort the image. In this collection, however, the original image remains recognisable. Warhol’s honours Francesca’s original paintings, and even preserves the cracks from the original which brings an interesting texture to these prints.