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Acquired from Alexander Iolas.
Private Collection, Athens.
Frayda Feldman and Jörg Schellmann, Andy Warhol Prints, A Catalogue Raisonné, 1962-1987, Fourth Edition, Milan, 2003, no. II.291
Published by Alexander Iolas in cooperation with the Hellenic Heritage Foundation to coincide with "The Search for Alexander" exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, October 27, 1982 - January 3, 1983.
Throbbing with restless energy fuelled by a spectacle of dazzling colours, Warhol's Alexander the Great captures the radiance, glamour and regal grace of the Macedonian conqueror. The purple ground echoes Van Gogh's luminous backdrops, while the sinuous linear highlights, which trace their origin to the ancient Greek vase painting, reconstruct the young king's face in an expressionist manner akin to Rouault or even the Gothic and Byzantine portraits Warhol himself used to admire.
The independence of colour from the confines of the contour energises the entire image, recalling the bold experimentations of such surrealists as Miro and Masson, who dismantled and reassembled the constituent parts of figurative painting. The portrait of the undefeated commander is finally recomposed as an amazing cubist collage which ingeniously oscillates between reality and illusion, underlining Alexander's enduring image as both a historic personality and legendary figure.