“Painting is easy when you don’t know how,

but very difficult when you do.”

–Edgar Degas

 

The creator standing proudly in front of one of his works that took him 22 years to finish.

 

Edwin Parker Twombly was born in Lexington, Virginia, on April 25, 1928. Commonly known as Cy Twombly, the man was a painter, sculptor and photographer. His paintings are predominantly large scale, freely scribbled on solid fields of gray, tan, or off-white colours.

Twombly often responded to the violence of contemporary political events with works that drew on classical history and literature. His paintings of Achilles and Troy from the 1960s and 1970s, for example, have frequently been interpreted as meditations on the Vietnam War. In 2003, shortly after the US invasion of Iraq, the then 75-year-old Twombly embarked upon what became known as his Bacchus paintings, named for the Roman god of winemaking, fertility, madness and religious ecstasy.

However, the tale of his untitled Say Goodbye, Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor is one of persistence and ambition. He started the project in 1972 and finished it in 1994. For him, this painting “is a passage through everything.” In the Cy Twombly Gallery, where the painting is now permanently installed, one is overwhelmed, by its size at first, but then by how much there is to see.