Watermark: somerset/ ENGLAND
In the 1990s, Lichtenstein created a series of paintings called "Interiors," in which he mixed references to classical antiquity, the Renaissance, and modernism. This drawing, which dates to the artist's final year, is a study for a painting commissioned by the fashion designer Gianni Versace (who died before the work was completed). A confused-looking Ajax, a hero of the Trojan War in Greek mythology, finds himself in an eclectically decorated room. The composition may be viewed as a wry comment on its patron, Versace, who was an inveterate lover of all things classical. Lichtenstein would typically work out his compositions in such small sketches, which he removed from his sketchbook to project onto a larger canvas.
Signed and dated verso, lower corner, in graphite: "R Lichtenstein '97;" inscribed lower left, in graphite: "R L #4074-97"