Andy Warhol - Evening & Day Editions London Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Diverting away from the images of instantly recognisable celebrities and branded goods that made him a household name, in Details of Renaissance Paintings, Andy Warhol created a series of works that instead looked to the most recognisable artistic images of the past. Lifting his subject matter directly from Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation, rather than from the heights of contemporary culture, Warhol applies his pop-art aesthetic to the Renaissance masterpiece transforming it into a modern allegory.


    Leonardo da Vinci, Annunciation, 1472, Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Image: Scala, Florence
    Leonardo da Vinci, Annunciation, 1472, Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Image: Scala, Florence

    In Details of Renaissance Paintings (Leonardo da Vinci, The Annunciation, 1472), Warhol references da Vinci’s painterly interpretation of the moment the angel Gabriel appears in front of the Virgin Mary and announces that Mary will bear the son of God. In da Vinci’s image, Gabriel kneels before the Virgin, hand raised in greeting. Opposite, Mary’s finger rests on the book she was reading prior to the angel’s arrival. While da Vinci presents an expansive view of Gabriel and Mary situated in a hortus conclusus – an allegory of the Virgin’s purity - Warhol intensely crops the image. In doing so, he purposefully obscures the narrative scene, leaving only the two gestural hands as an indication of the Biblical interaction.


    Warhol flattens the composition drastically: the mountain that once served as the central vanishing point in da Vinci’s pioneering example of perspective, is brought to the fore and highlighted with the same democratising red line that Warhol uses to silhouette the hands of Mary and angel Gabriel. Through the central positioning of the mountain, the landscape in the background becomes of equal, if not higher, importance than the Biblical encounter. By directly appropriating da Vinci’s imagery, Warhol challenges the concept of originality and satirically undermines the work’s religious significance. Through his reproduction, flattening and cropping of the famous painting, Warhol demonstrates that not even the works of the Old Masters are protected from the commercial aesthetic of Pop art.

    • Provenance

      Schellmann Art, Munich

    • Literature

      see Frayda Feldman and Jörg Schellmann 320-323
      see Jörg Schellmann, ed., Forty Are Better Than One, Munich/New York, 2009, pp. 346-347

    • Artist Biography

      Andy Warhol

      American • 1928 - 1987

      Andy Warhol was the leading exponent of the Pop Art movement in the U.S. in the 1960s. Following an early career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol achieved fame with his revolutionary series of silkscreened prints and paintings of familiar objects, such as Campbell's soup tins, and celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe. Obsessed with popular culture, celebrity and advertising, Warhol created his slick, seemingly mass-produced images of everyday subject matter from his famed Factory studio in New York City. His use of mechanical methods of reproduction, notably the commercial technique of silk screening, wholly revolutionized art-making.

      Working as an artist, but also director and producer, Warhol produced a number of avant-garde films in addition to managing the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground and founding Interview magazine. A central figure in the New York art scene until his untimely death in 1987, Warhol was notably also a mentor to such artists as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.


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Property of an Important German Collector


Details of Renaissance Paintings (Leonardo da Vinci, The Annunciation, 1472) (S. 320-323)

Unique screenprint in colours, on Arches Aquarelle Cold Press paper, with full margins.
I. 64 x 95.5 cm (25 1/4 x 37 5/8 in.)
S. 81.4 x 112 cm (32 1/8 x 44 1/8 in.)

Signed and numbered 'TP 29/36' in pencil (a unique colour variant trial proof, the edition was 60 and 15 artist's proofs), published by Edition Schellmann & Klüser, Munich and New York (with their and the artist's copyright inkstamp on the reverse), unframed.

Full Cataloguing

£20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for £44,100

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 14-15 June 2022