Cy Twombly

Making Past Present


Explore the artist’s sustained engagement with antiquity. CyTwombly: Making Past Present brings together more than 60 works by Twombly with ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Near Eastern art from the MFA’s and the artist’s own collection


ISBN: 9780878468744 Category:

Christine Kondoleon, Kate Nesin


Cy Twombly’s first visit to Italy as a young man ignited a lifelong passion for classical culture that is everywhere present in his art. Painted canvases, works on paper, and small-scale sculptures reveal the historical soul of Twombly’s abstract compositions. Taking on myths and heroes as personal guides, he created a psychologically complex dialogue with the visual and literary art of antiquity.
This sumptuously illustrated publication reproduces a carefully chosen selection of the artist’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures alongside works of classical antiquity, including a number from his personal collection. Illuminating essays by leading scholars explore the often enigmatic engagement of Twombly’s art with the world of the past.

Additional information

Weight 1911 g
Dimensions 25 x 29.2 cm
Publisher name MFA Publications
Publication date 1 November 2020
Number of pages 264
Format Hardback
Dimensions 25 x 29.2 cm
Weight 1911 g


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Cy Twombly (1928-2011) was born in Lexington, Virginia, and lived and worked in New York in the early 1950s and at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. After traveling around North Africa, Spain and Italy, he settled in Rome, where he remained for the rest of his life. Christine Kondoleon is George D. and Margo Behrakis Chair, Art of Ancient Greece and Rome, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Kate Nesin is Adjunct Curator, Contemporary Art, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Anne Carson is a poet, essayist, translator, and professor of classical languages and literature. Jennifer R. Gross is Executive Director, Hauser & Wirth Institute. Brooke Holmes is Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Classics at Princeton University. Mary Jacobus is professor emerita of English at the University of Cambridge and Cornell University, and an Honorary Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford.