Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, as depicted in Goethe 273, was a German intellectual of the 19th century. He produced works of poetry and prose and contributed greatly to the literary and scientific communities. He also wrote Theory of Colours, which includes some of the earliest published ideas about color perception and theory. Goethe is known for his wide variation of literary genres, memoirs, epic and lyric poetry, novels and scientific treatises on botany. He was a highly esteemed celebrity in the literary world by the age of twenty-five. Goethe 273, true to the ideas of the subject, employs color theory in order to create contrast in the work and highlight the features of the subject. The complementary yellow and purple in addition to blue and orange draw attention to the small details of the piece, such as the sketch over the eyes and the divets of the handkerchief.
Goethe 273 as Part of Andy Warhol’s Larger Body of Work
In his Goethe series, Andy Warhol applies his modern techniques to this classic subject. Throughout the series, Warhol showcases images of Goethe that are superimposed with vibrant colors. This contrast between classic images and new-age colors is a staple of Warhol’s work. Warhol’s obsession with celebrity is also a trademark evident in the Goethe series, as he explores the boundaries between reverence and veneration.