I was saddened to hear of the passing of Cy Twombly, as my readers may know, my interests generally do not include much of the 20th century (excluding the first decade perhaps); Twombly was the exception.
My appreciation of Twombly’s work began with the 10-painting cycle Fifty Days at Illiam at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I had been ignorant of Cy Twombly, but the work instantly struck a nerve. Cool, chaste, decidedly classical, the desperate doodlings seemed to suggest long forgotten frantic pleas from the ancient past. I was only to learn later that Twombly was referencing Alexander Pope and his translation of The Illiad.
I was hooked.
Only a few days ago the New York Times had ran an article concerning an exhibition in which Twombly’s classical paintings would be paired with the equally restrained paintings of Nicholas Poussin.
Cy Twombly was a great admirer of Poussin, having stated that “I would have liked to have been Poussin, if I’d had a choice , in another time”.
As a fellow Poussiniste, I was delighted.
Apollo and the Artist
oil paint, wax crayon, pencil and collage on paper
Et in Arcadia Ego
It is difficult not to fall for the lush beauty of the School of Athens.
It may be heretical, but I may prefer Twombly’s to Rapheal, difficult to admit …
The School of Athens
Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican Palace
well, perhaps not more.
Thank you Mr. Twombly for such lyrical work.
b. 25th April 1925
d. 5th July 2011
Until next time,