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Reverie, from 11 Pop Artists, Volume II

Reverie, from 11 Pop Artists, Volume II
screenprint in colors, on smooth wove paper, 1965, signed in pencil, numbered 150⁄200 (there were also 50 proofs in Roman numerals), published by Original Editions, New York, with margins, framed
Image: 27 1⁄8 x 23 in. (689 x 584 mm.)
Sheet: 29 1⁄8 x 24 in. (740 x 610 mm.)
Corlett 38

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Lindsay Griffith
Lindsay Griffith Head of Department

Lot Essay

Roy Lichtenstein based the lovelorn blonde in Reverie on the illustrations of the graphic artist Arthur Peddy (1916-2002). Peddy’s drawings for the DC Comics series Falling in Love and Girls’ Love Stories had a great influence on the artist, and became the source material for much of his work in the early 1960’s. In Reverie, Lichtenstein alters Peddy’s original composition, zooming in on the heroine’s plaintive face and filling the entire sheet with her wistful expression. Her eyes are rendered in a downturned, imploring manner, and her parted lips reveal a pleading mouth. Lichtenstein eliminated her earrings in order to focus more fully on her curled hair, and altered the pearls of her necklace into a straight line set at a forty-five degree angle. The title refers to the lyrics of Stardust, a nostalgic ballad composed in 1927 by Hoagy Carmichael (1899-1981), which was popularized by Nat King Cole in the 1950’s. It’s haunting lyrics perfectly evoke the melodrama reflected by Lichtenstein’s heroine:

Sometimes I wonder why I spend
The lonely nights
Dreaming of a song.
The melody haunts my reverie
And I am once again with you.
When our love was new, and each kiss an inspiration.
But that was long ago, and now my consolation
Is in the stardust of a song.

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