© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
Inspired by an exhibition of serial artworks that featured impressionist Claude Monet’s famous paintings of Rouen Cathedral, Roy Lichtenstein, never shy about appropriating a theme, embarked on his own Cathedral series. Unlike Monet, who painted at the site of the cathedral over the course of two years, observing the change of color and contours as light moved across the building’s surface, Lichtenstein did not paint from life. Monet’s quintessentially painterly approach stands in sharp contrast to Lichtenstein’s commercially influenced style. Yet, impressionism’s staccato brushwork and unmixed colors are a logical antecedent to Lichtenstein’s primary colors and benday dots — a cheeky update on a movement and an artist.