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Cy Twombly: Fifty Days at Iliam

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Cy Twombly: Fifty Days at Iliam
Tags: American

About the Authors:

Carlos Basualdo is the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Olena Chervonik is the Daniel W. Dietrich II Fellow in Contemporary Art, both at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Richard Fletcher is associate professor of classics at Ohio State University.

Emily Greenwood is the chair and professor of classics at Yale University. Nicola Del Roscio is the president of the Cy Twombly Foundation.

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This revelatory publication provides a comprehensive and multifaceted account of Cy Twombly’s masterpiece Fifty Days at Iliam (1978), a cycle of ten paintings based on Alexander Pope’s eighteenth-century translation of Homer’s Iliad. Essays by a team of art historians and scholars of Greco-Roman studies explore topics including the paintings’ literary and cultural references to antiquity and Twombly’s broader engagement with the theme of the Trojan War, which first appeared in his work in the early 1960s and was a subject to which he would return throughout his career. Firsthand accounts of the artist at work complement the essays. Images of the canvases and related drawings and sculptures are joined by previously unpublished photographs showing Fifty Days at Iliam in the artist's studio at the time of the paintings’ completion.

  • Paper over board
  • 168 pages
  • 11 13/16” x 13”
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-300-23312-4
Editorial Reviews

"For me, what makes this so cool is that it is a beautiful object at an attainable price that has real scholarly substance to it. I think it could introduce Twombly to a new generation, and be an essential addition to the library of anybody interested in contemporary art.

This is the essential publication on one of Cy Twombly’s most important bodies of work. Its lush illustrations—including many never-before-seen archival images—and incisive essays provide context for fully appreciating Twombly’s landmark achievement, one of the museum’s signature holdings. A truly covetable book!"

—Katie Reilly, William T. Ranney Director of Publishing, Philadelphia Museum of Art

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