Three Flags

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Three Flags
Three Flags.jpg
Artist Jasper Johns
Type Encaustic on canvas
Dimensions(30 78 in× 45 12 in)
Location Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City

Three Flags is a 1958 painting by American artist Jasper Johns. [1]

The work comprises three canvases painted with hot wax. The three canvases form a tiered arrangement, with each canvas approximately 25% smaller than the one below, thereby creating a three-dimensional work. Each canvas is painted to resemble the version of the United States flag that was in use at the time the work was painted, with 48 white stars in a blue canton on a field of thirteen alternating red and white stripes. Each flag is rendered with the approximately correct colors and proportions, as defined by Title 4 of the United States Code.

In a sense, the perspective is reversed, with the smaller paintings projecting out towards the viewer. Only the topmost smallest painting is fully visible; the two behind are only partially visible. [2]

The painting was acquired by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City for $1 million in 1980, to celebrate its 50th anniversary. [3]

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  1. "Three Flags". Whitney Museum of American Art. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  3. American Culture in The 1950s, Martin Halliwell, p.203-205