Sleeping Girl, 1964 by Roy Lichtenstein

Sleeping Girl is a remarkable drawing that belongs to Roy Lichtenstein's most celebrated series - his iconic portraits of women that he painted in the 1960s. Taken from the pages of romantic comic books, these women helped to define the age of Pop art and reflected the artist's formal interest in both the nature of representation and the cultural dichotomy that exists between male and female stereotypes.

The transformation of mass-produced commercial images into the realm of Fine Art is unequivocally one of the most important principles of 20th century art practice, and Sleeping Girl is its crowning achievement. Sleeping Girl is the highpoint of Lichtenstein's most acclaimed and sustained body of work, painted between 1961 and 1965, and stands out as the clear masterpiece among the single-figure, square-format paintings of women from 1964, with a perfect harmony of size, composition and color.

From the Old Masters Caravaggio, Rembrandt to modern artists Cezanne and Picasso, the sleeping female muse has been celebrated in the visual arts and Lichtenstein's romantic cartoon paintings make a compelling and dynamic contribution to that long tradition. Like Picasso, Lichtenstein was fascinated by women but in contrast to the modern master, works like Sleeping Girl are a vehicle for his innovation and contribution to 20th century art history, rather than homage to specific women.