A leader of the second generation of Abstract Expressionists, in the early 1950s Helen Frankenthaler developed a unique technique, diluting traditional oil paints with turpentine, allowing for what she termed a “soak stain” on an unprimed canvas. For Lorelei, inspired by a boat ride on Germany’s Rhine River, Frankenthaler positioned her canvas on the floor, moving her body around its perimeter and gaining new vantage points while pouring, tossing, and flicking paint from cans and brushes. The artist avoided applied brushstrokes; she told the Brooklyn Museum in 1966 that she preferred “an immediate, allover look . . . something that looks as if it were all born at once. As if it happened.” This emphasis on energy over exacting composition was perceived as an avant-garde break from centuries of Western painting traditions, garnering critical and collector support.
Oil on untreated cotton duck
70 5/8 x 86 3/4 in. (179.4 x 220.3 cm)
frame: 75 x 91 7/8 x 2 1/2 in. (190.5 x 233.4 x 6.4 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Purchase gift of Allan D. Emil
© artist or artist's estate
Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain.
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928-2011). Lorelei, 1957. Oil on untreated cotton duck, 70 5/8 x 86 3/4 in. (179.4 x 220.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchase gift of Allan D. Emil, 58.39. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 58.39_SL1.jpg)
overall, 58.39_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.