Andy Warhol’s portrait of Sarah Bernhardt (1980) simultaneously copies a preexisting photograph and overlays it with idiosyncratic gestures of original invention. The resulting work can be described as an “original copy,” a hybrid category of copying in the pictorial arts, analogous to “cover versions” in popular music. This article outlines the history of prior images related to this Warhol work. It considers how this history compares to those associated with two other renowned portraits of Bernhardt, one by Jules Bastien-Lepage (1879), the other by William Nicholson (1897). These three case studies are used to justify the articulation of two heuristic models—one static and one dynamic—for describing and distinguishing qualitatively different types of copying processes in art world contexts.

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