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Approaching The Castle

Approaching The Castle
Signed Print

Roy Lichtenstein

Woodcut, 1951
Signed Print Edition of 30
H 18cm x W 42cm

Critical Review

Similar to Knight With Lady of the same year, Lichtenstein’s 1951 Approaching The Castle presents a boldly gouged woodcut rendition of a knight’s tale. The artist’s acclaimed satirical sensibilities and graphic stylistic elements are clearly detectable in this carving. Set on white drawing paper, this darkly hued composition is of a playful and narrative nature. All pictorial elements are distinctly delineated as a result of the printing method. The absurd proportions of the boat, the size of the knight, and the mythical figure awaiting him on shore elevate this print from serious to comedic.

In Approaching The Castle, Lichtenstein blends naturalistic and graphic forms of expression. His borrowed medieval iconography pokes fun at traditional Western portraits featuring the same subject matter. Additionally, the print also mirrors the layout of elaborate 15th century textiles and tapestries chronicling historical conquests and events. Although the pigments may be somewhat somber, the artist’s joyful rendering of the scene lends the work a whimsical quality.