Sarah Bernhardt by Warhol from The Jews Portfolio (234)

Sarah Bernhardt by Warhol

Andy Warhol’s Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century (1980) depict renowned luminaries of Jewish culture: Sarah Bernhardt, Louis Brandeis, Martin Buber, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, George Gershwin, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Golda Meir, and Gertrude Stein. Warhol referred to this pantheon of great thinkers, politicians, performers, and writers as his “Jewish geniuses.”

Presentation

Edition of 200, 30 AP, 5 PP, 3 EP, 25 TP

Created

1980

Size

40×32

Signed

Yes

Genre

Pop

Medium

Screen print on Lenox Museum Board

Sarah Bernhardt by Warhol

Warhol’s iconic portraits attest to the lasting achievements and fame of these singular figures. Originally published as a portfolio of silkscreen prints on paper, Warhol was so pleased with the commercial success of his Ten Portraits that he decided to create additional versions of the series as silkscreen paintings on canvas. The Jewish Museum initially showed three sets of paintings and an edition of prints in the fall of 1980. On view in this exhibition are one of the five complete sets of ten paintings, an edition of the final print portfolio, several sketches, a preparatory collage, and the photographs that Warhol used as source images, offering new insights into their development and historical context.

Sarah Bernhardt was a French stage and early film actress, and has been referred to as “the most famous actress the world has ever known.” Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of France in the 1870s, at the beginning of the Belle Epoque period, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas. She developed a reputation as a serious dramatic actress, earning the nickname “The Divine Sarah.”

Sarah Bernhardt is from Andy Warhol’s series Ten Portraits of Jews from the 20th Century. The portrait of Sarah Bernhardt, in which her beautiful, ghostly face is layered over a square divided diagonally into blue and orange fields, with a tilting blue square floating in the orange area, is evocatively layered and disjointed. The geometric layering adds a modern touch to the classic beauty. The overall impression of the series, however, is of generic illustration.

Andy Warhol was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. Andy Warhol’s works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. Andy Warhol’s Marilyn and Andy Warhol’s Soup Cans are some of the most recognized and collectible of his artworks. From Andy Warhol Paintings to Andy Warhol Prints and unique pieces, the artist’s works are available for sale from Guy Hepner.

 
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