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Still Life With Portrait

Still Life With Portrait
Signed Print

Roy Lichtenstein

Planographic, 1974
Signed Print Edition of 100
H 97cm x W 72cm

Critical Review

Although still life painting has been practiced since ancient times, its particular mode of representation has never ranked highest in the hierarchy of art. Historically, these paintings would capture the essence of a period through allegorical depictions of inanimate objects. Despite offering sublime scenes of prosperity and temporality, the genre was often dismissed as a creative exercise.

Lichtenstein embraces the decorative qualities of this artistic tradition, rendering his series according to a pronounced commercial aesthetic. Still Life With Portraitfollows the conventional layout of classical still lifes, framing a figurative interior with a frilly curtain and the ear of a pitcher. The portrait of a grinning woman is hung on the wall, reminiscent of a glamour shot. A bowl of fruit, contrastively minimalist, is situated on the table in the foreground of the work.

There is an immediacy to this print, an unmistakable ‘what you see, is what you get’ quality. Lichtenstein presents his own rendition of a still life, and while he employs a historically accurate structure, he executes the print entirely in the manner of modern art.