Robert Rauschenberg, Cy and Relics, 1952, Photograph, © The Rauschenberg Foundation

Cy Twombly, Hero and Leandro, 1985, 202 × 254cm, Private Collection, Courtesy Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zurich, © Cy Twombly

Nicolas Poussin, Venus and Mercury (c. 1627/1629) © By permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery


Cy Twombly, Quattro Stagioni: Estate, 1993-5, Acrylic and pencil on canvas, 3241 × 2250 × 67mm. ©Tate, London, 2010, © Cy Twombly


Cy Twombly, Quattro Stagioni: Autunno, 1993-5, Acrylic, oil, crayon and pencil on canvas, 3230 × 2254 × 67mm. © Cy Twombly


Nicolas Poussin, Rinaldo and Armida (c. 1630) © By permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery


Cy Twombly, Quattro Stagioni: Inverno, 1993-5, Acrylic, oil and pencil on canvas, 3229 × 2300 × 67mm. © Cy Twombly


Cy Twombly, Bacchanalia-Fall (5 Days in November) Blatt 4, InvNr. UAB 457, 1977, collage, oil, chalk, gouache, on fabriano paper, graph paper, 101.2 × 150.5 cm, © Cy Twombly


Cy Twombly, Pan, 1975, 148 × 100cm Private Collection, © Cy Twombly, Courtesy: Cy Twombly Archive

Nicolas Poussin, The Nurture of Jupiter (mid 1630s) © By permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

Work / Exhibition

What’s On: Twombly & Poussin

Two days ago the very great and crucial American painter, Cy Twombly, passed away. Barely a week since a very special exhibition opened at the Dulwich Picture Gallery that sees his work sit side by side with the French classicist, Nicholas Poussin – realised from Twombly once having said that he “would’ve liked to have been Poussin, if I’d had a choice, in another time." The director of the gallery, Ian A C Dejardin said in light of the recent sadness, that they are “honoured to have been able to mount so beautiful a testimony to the importance of Twombly’s work.”

Both artist’s, united by the themes that figuratively characterised Poussin’s work and instilled in Twombly from his adoptive culture of Old Europe – love, death, “Arcadia and the pastoral, Venus and Eros, anxiety and theatricality.” The fascinating parallels borne by one artist’s love of another, that could otherwise gone undrawn when physically comparing the lyrical graffiti of Twombly to the classical style of Poussin.