Psychogram and Parnassus: Reading Raphael’s Vatican Stanza with Cy Twombly

Tuesday 20 March 2012  18.00

 

Psychogram and Parnassus: Reading Raphael’s Vatican Stanza with Cy Twombly

 

Contemporary Literature and Art Lecture by Professor Mary Jacobus (University of Cambridge and Cornell University)

 

Abstract:

The American painter Cy Twombly (1928-2011) moved permanently to Rome in the late 1950s. During the early 1960s he embarked on a series of paintings that respond to Rome’s Renaissance legacy. Among others, he

produced iconoclastic versions of Raphael’s ‘Il Parnasso’ and ‘Scuola di Atena’ in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. Like Raphael’s iconic frescoes, Twombly’s paintings both concern and require reading by the

viewer. This illustrated lecture offers a critical approach to the question of ‘reading’ in art and art history, focused on Twombly’s contemporary response to frescoes that were deeply embedded in Renaissance Humanist culture.

Cy Twombly, School of Athens (1964). Detail