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Cy Twombly: Fifty Days at Iliam

Cy Twombly: Fifty Days at Iliam

Edited by Carlos Basualdo, with essays by Carlos Basualdo, Olena Chervonik, Richard Fletcher, Emily Greenwood, and Nicola Del Roscio

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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 Images of the canvases and related drawings and sculptures are joined by previously unpublished photographs showing Fifty Days at Iliam in the artist’s studio at the time of the paintings’ completion.

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.

Paper over board
168 pages
12 x 13 inches
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018
ISBN-13: 978-0-300-23312-4