<p><SPAN>This is Roy Lichtenstein’s triptych <SPAN STYLE=Rouen Cathedral, Set 5, from 1969. Three vertical paintings hang side by side, measuring roughly five feet high by twelve feet wide altogether. Each has the same subject but a different color treatment. The subject is France’s Rouen Cathedral, seen when the sun is high in the sky so the shadows cast by its ornately sculpted façade contrast deeply with the surfaces that remain in full sun. The French Impressionist painter Claude Monet depicted this façade repeatedly at different times of day, under varying light conditions. In place of Monet’s light impressionist daubs of paint, Lichtenstein has used a rigid system of ben-day dots, much like a mechanically reproduced newspaper photo seen under magnification. In this case, the dots in the painting on the left are predominantly yellow with red-orange dots in the shadows. The painting in the middle is predominantly red with blue shadow dots. And the painting on the right is predominantly dark red with black shadow dots.

Roy Lichtenstein
Rouen Cathedral, Set 5, 1969

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Rouen Cathedral, Set 5
Artist name
Roy Lichtenstein
Date created
oil and Magna on canvas
overall: 63 5/8 in. x 141 7/8 in. (161.61 cm x 360.36 cm)
Date Acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson
© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
Permanent URL
Artwork Status
On view on floor 2 as part of Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture, 1900 to Now.

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