Hans Christian Andersen 399 by Andy Warhol is a screenprint from Andy Warhol’s 1987 Hans Christian Andersen portfolio, based on paper cut out pieces of characters from Andersen’s fairytales and a photograph of Andersen himself. Andersen was a Danish author who became very well known for his fairy tales that were enjoyed by young and old audiences. Warhol was inspired by Andersen, which is why he decided to create a series devoted to the author and his unique characters. Hans Christian Andersen 399 shows a depiction of Andersen’s characters in white, in front of a swathe of bright green in the background.
Andy Warhol’s Hans Christian Andersen suite is a portfolio of four screenprints, three of which include a paper cut-out style based on characters from Andersen’s fairy tales. Andy Warhol was inspired by Andersen’s unique characters, which is why he devoted most of his suite to them, with only one portrait of the author himself. This series, completed in 1987, was printed by Rupert Jasen Smith in New York and published by Art Expo Danmark, Odense, Denmark. Hans Christian Andersen became famous for his fairy tales that transcended age and culture. Considering Warhol took great interest in creating portraits and series on iconic figures, it is not surprising that Warhol would choose to create a series on the very talented and well-known author and his many wonderful characters. The complete Hans Christian Andersen set includes FS II.349-201 and was posthumously stamped in black on verso.
Photo credit: Original paper cut out by Hans Christian Andersen titled Two Women by a Palm Tree with a Ballerina on Top of it. Courtesy of Odense City Museum.