Andy Warhol - Striding Gentlemen (With Text)

Bits of French influence can gleaned throughout Warhol’s lengthy career: For example, it has been suggested that French masters Jean Cocteau and Henri Matisse influenced some of Warhol’s early drawings, in which he distilled his portraits to “well-placed lines.” One of his most recognizable blotted line drawings is The French Look, featuring a court shoe from 1958.  Two of his books from the 1950s feature French influences – Wild Raspberries, inspired by the French haute cuisine cookbooks of the time period, and A La Recherche du Shoe Perdu, a spin off of French author Marcel Duchamp’s book A La Recherche du Temps Perdu. Of course, it is impossible to discuss Warhol’s French connection without touching on the mid-1960s exhibition of his flowers paintings in Paris.

In this particular drawing from the 1950s, Warhol depicts a striding gentleman accompanied by a French riddle, which loosely reads:
Q: What goes around the wood without ever going in it?
A: The bark.