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Dutch Interior

Cy Twombly American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 919

Twombly painted Dutch Interior shortly after moving into a spacious studio in central Rome, which allowed him to work in larger formats. The painting presents an accumulation of seemingly disparate marks—scribbles, smears, and hastily scrawled numbers—that suggests graffiti and grit on the ancient walls of the Eternal City. Some of these reference the artist’s body and provide traces of its presence. However, because Twombly employed a wide range of media—pencil, wax crayon, and paint—and divergent styles, he created the effect that multiple hands have been at work. The title, an ode to seventeenth-century Dutch painting, suggests an homage to the Spanish Surrealist Joan Miró, who had executed a group of works on the subject, including one in The Met collection (see MMA 1996.403.8).

Dutch Interior, Cy Twombly (American, Lexington, Virginia 1928–2011 Rome), Wax crayon, lead pencil, oil on canvas

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