The Sower, from Landscape Series, 1985,
Lithograph by Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997),
Printed and issued in 1985,
Lithograph, woodcut and screenprint in colours
© Christie’s, 25 October 2017, lot 57, sold $60,000
Imagine a sower going out to sow
Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the beach, and he told them many things in parables.
He said, ‘Imagine a sower going out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Listen, anyone who has ears!’
Reflection on the Contemporary Art Lithograph
As Christians we are called to speak the truth and to sow the seed of God’s word… by our words and actions. In our highly secularised world, we can become so preoccupied that seed may fall on unproductive ground, which then might hold us back to sow in the first place. But Jesus is telling us that seeds will fall through the smallest of cracks and reach people we even wouldn’t imagine… so we are called to sow, sow, sow!
Our lithograph by Roy Lichtenstein is a modern take on the Parable of the Sower. In the bottom left corner, in broad stylised brushstrokes, we see a sower. It is an interesting print, as the use of thick lines, the flat surface planes, and complex perspective give it is a very painterly quality. Lichtenstein was one of America’s foremost Pop Art painters. In a style derived from comic strips, he portrays a certain playfulness and joyfulness of contemporary American life.
Jesus prompts us to start sowing. The Holy Spirit will then supply the sunshine, the water, the growth and the harvest. We sow and God will look after the growth!
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Wonderful colour in this picture. He was very innovative.
Need to do a bit of sowing….
Yes a lovely print indeed.
It is after Van Gogh’s ‘Le semeur au soleil couchant’