Ingrid Bergman, The Nun 314 by Andy Warhol is one of three silkscreen prints from the Ingrid Bergman portfolio. The portfolio was commissioned and published in 1983 by Swedish art gallery, Galerie Börjeson, in Malmo, Sweden. The gallery wanted Warhol to portray and pay tribute to Bergman as one of Sweden’s most notable Academy-Award-winning actresses. The three-part portfolio consists of portraits of Bergman titled Herself, With Hat, and The Nun.
To create the Ingrid Bergman prints, Warhol referenced publicity photographs and images from the actress’s filmography; ultimately selecting film stills from her portrayals in classic films Casablanca (1942), The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945), and a publicity headshot of the actress. Each silkscreen painting captures Bergman’s persona and accentuates her various details and facial features. In The Nun, Bergman is portrayed in a traditional nun habit with a front-facing gaze looking outward, while her hands clasp together in a prayer gesture. The still comes from The Bells of St. Mary’s, in which Bergman played a character called Sister Mary Benedict. The film was one of her most critical roles and was the top-grossing film of 1945 in the United States.
The Nun, along with the two other silkscreen portraits of Ingrid Bergman, exhibits Warhol’s abstract style of portraiture that arose during the 1980s. During this era, Warhol began illustrating his subject’s details by tracing outlines of facial features, hair, clothing, and body parts, accentuating the figures in his work. Along with this style, Warhol also began filling the background of his portraits with large geometric blocks, constructing them in striking colors. Other examples of this style include Mick Jagger and Reigning Queens.
This new abstract style is present in The Nun, as well as Ingrid Bergman, Herself. Warhol traces Bergman’s details through subtle yellow lines that outline her figure. The lines accentuate her facial features and figure, tracing around her eyes and nose, coinciding with her vibrant, pink-colored lips. The yellow lines additionally make up an illustrated form of her hands clasped in the gesture of prayer and details in her clothes and wimple veil. The geometric blocks featured in the portrait overlap with Bergman’s figure, with blocks of orange, yellow, cyan, pink, and light blue contrasting against the black shadows of Bergman’s figure and the background.
The portrait is one of many works that exhibit Warhol’s fascination with celebrity culture and the idolization of public figures. The Nun and other prints fro, the Ingrid Bergman portfolio coincide with many of Warhol’s other works of celebrity figures such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Jackie Kennedy, and Liz Taylor. Warhol’s love for creating celebrity portraits captures the widespread consumer interest in the personal lives of celebrities, and the power and immortality their images have. Ultimately, Ingrid Bergman, The Nun 314 is a classic Warhol print which showcases the artist’s trademark 1980s style and subject matter.