Fifty Days at Iliam
Cy Twombly, American, 1928 - 2011
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In the summer of 1977, Cy Twombly began working on a "painting in ten parts" based on Alexander Pope's translation of Homer's Iliad. Completed in 1978 and collectively titled Fifty Days at Iliam, the works evoke incidents from Homer's epic poem in Twombly's characteristic synthesis of words and images. The ten large canvases follow one another much like a developing narrative. They are ordered as follows: Shield of Achilles (on view in Gallery 184); Heroes of the Achaeans; Vengeance of Achilles; Achaeans in Battle; The Fire that Consumes All Before It; Shades of Achilles, Patroclus, and Hector; House of Priam; Ilians in Battle; Shades of Eternal Night; Heroes of the Ilians (on view in Gallery 185).