10 Facts About Roy Lichtenstein's Nudes

Nude Reading by Roy LichtensteinNude Reading © Roy Lichtenstein, 1994
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Roy Lichtenstein's Nudes is a seminal series by the Pop artist that investigates the nude genre.


This series relates to Lichtenstein’s earlier works.

Two Nudes by Roy LichtensteinTwo Nudes © Roy Lichtenstein, 1994

In 1994, Lichtenstein came full circle with his Nudes series, returning to his cartoon heroines from the 1960s to interrogate the Nude genre itself.


These nudes are not depicted from life.

Thinking Nude by Roy LicthensteinThinking Nude © Roy Licthenstein, 1994

Rather than capturing the bodies of live models, the artist decided to fabricate the female figures himself. Consequently, he sourced their physical female attributes from his extensive archive of comic strips and movie stills.


Lichtenstein used stencils to create these nudes.

Roommates by Roy LichtensteinRoommates © Roy Lichtenstein, 1994

Lichtenstein’s Nudes were composed using hand-cut as well as computer-generated dye-cut stencils.


This series is self-referential.

Nude With Blue Hair State I by Roy LichtensteinNude With Blue Hair State I © Roy Lichtenstein, 1994

The Nudes relate to previous compositions from Lichtenstein’s creative output, including Reflections, Mirrors, Interiors and his Imperfect series. The artist sneakily integrates motifs and objects borrowed from these past series, assimilating them as part of the interior.


The Nudes series takes inspiration from art history.

Thinking Nude by Roy LichtensteinThinking Nude © Roy Lichtenstein, 1994

The artist also took inspiration from two of art history’s most famous modern masters, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Accordingly, his Nudes abstracted the female body to its simplest and most essential form.


There is one key difference between these Nude women and Lichtenstein’s original heroines.

The Melody Haunts My Reverie by Roy LichtensteinThe Melody Haunts My Reverie © Roy Lichtenstein, 1965

These leading ladies in the Nudes series are all portrayed on their own, or with another female companion. The leading men who accompanied Lichtenstein’s distressed heroines of the 1960s are altogether absent from this series.


Lichtenstein reforms his famous Ben Day dots in this series.

Blonde by Roy LichtensteinBlonde © Roy Lichtenstein, 1978

It is clear that Lichtenstein utilises a familiar, yet reformed pictorial language in his Nudes. The artist tightly clusters his Ben Day dots in certain parts of the picture as a means to denote shadow.


The Nudes series is indicative of Lichtenstein’s play with three-dimensional and two-dimensional representation.

Nude With Yellow Pillow by Roy LichtensteinNude With Yellow Pillow © Roy Lichtenstein, 1994

Lichtenstein models his Nudes with heightened dimensionality, contrasting their curvilinear torso’s to the geometric and figurative elements of their interiors. As such, the prints oscillate between realistic, three-dimensional representation and decorative, two-dimensional patterning.


This series was created in the latter stages of Lichtenstein’s career.

Nude With Blue Hair by Roy LichtensteinNude With Blue Hair © Roy Lichtenstein, 1994

Produced in 1994, this series showcases a perfect distillation of Lichtenstein’s graphic lexicon, revealing an artist in complete mastery of his craft.


The record price for an original Nudes painting is US$ 46.2 million.

Nude Reading by Roy LichtensteinNude Reading © Roy Lichtenstein, 1994

Going under the hammer for an enormous US$ 46.2 million, Nude with Joyous Painting (1994) is the most expensive of the Nude paintings by Lichtenstein. The work sold at Christie’s New York on 10th July 2020.

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