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Jamie Wyeth born 1946
 
A celebrity-studded crowd had thronged the opening of Andy Warhol and Jamie Wyeth's 1976 dual portrait exhibition, anxious to see how the "Patriarch of Pop" and the "Prince of Realism" would portray each other. Portraiture was back in the limelight. "Not since Gainsborough painted ‘The Blue Boy,'" the gallery owner exulted, "has portraiture created such a stir."

Warhol's contribution included several monumental graphite drawings. He had projected Polaroid photographs of Wyeth onto large pieces of paper and traced the contours. But there is little left of the camera's eye after his manipulations. The zigzagging lines obliterate contours and add an uncomfortable quality to the restrained pose and elegant face. The drawings struck some critics as particularly notable. "They are line drawings of total assurance," Noel Frackman wrote in Arts Magazine, "the result of an educated hand and much closer to drawings by Matisse or Picasso than to what we think of as Pop Art."

Andy Warhol (1928–1987)
Graphite on paper, 1976
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
© 2001 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / ARS, New York
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