Andy Warhol’s portfolio entitled “Details in Renaissance Paintings” include several paintings, a famous one being Paolo Uccello’s St. George and the Dragon, dating from around 1470. Andy Warhol re-created Uccello’s paintings of St. George and the Dragon, by transforming it into a work of pop art.
Executed in 1984, Details of Renaissance Paintings shows paint handling and a color palette that is representative to the painters at that period of time. The current lot boasts Warhol’s signature medium of the silkscreen, while also presenting a painterly hand in the suggestion of brushwork.
The painting on wood by Paolo Uccello represents Saint George running the dragon through with his lance, as it prepares to devour the king’s daughter. This combat is an important episode in the legend of Saint George.
Born to Slovakian immigrants in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Andy Warhol’s career as the foremost proponent of Pop Art began during his days as a commercial artist for newspapers and magazines. Over the 1950s and ’60s he rose to become the king of the New York avant-garde, and one of the most important and iconic artists of the 20th century. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture. His screenprinted images of Marilyn Monroe, soup cans, and sensational newspaper stories, quickly became synonymous with Pop art. Andy Warhol was the most successful and highly paid commercial illustrator in New York even before he began to make art destined for galleries.