Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May … (cont.)

Still working on my rose-text, today I will show you a contemporary version of the motif:

cy t red purple roses

Cy Twombly: The Rose IV (2008). Acrylic on plywood, 252 x 740 cm.

Cy Twombly’s The Rose is a cycle of five paintings, numbered I – V, the paintings are variations of each other.

cy t black roses

Cy Twombly: The Rose V (2008). Acrylic on plywood, 252 x 740 cm.

Each canvas is a fourfold painting, or quartet. From left to right you see three blooming roses followed by an almost invisible, unreadable text. The text pieces are excerpts from Rainer Maria Rilke’s cycle of poems entitled Les roses. Rilke’s text is in English.

cy t detalje

Cy Twombly: The Rose I (detail)


Rose, so cherished by our own customs,
dedicated to our dearest memories,
become almost imaginary
for being so linked to our dreams –

(transl. A. Poulin Jr.)

Cy Twombly (1928-2011), was born in Lexington, Virginia in 1928 and between 1947 and 1952 he studied in Boston, Washington, New York and at the Black Mountain College, North Carolina. In the late 1950s he moved to Italy where he continued to live throughout his subsequent career.

Twombly found inspiration in ancient Mediterranean history and geography, Greek and Roman mythology, classical literature, and poetry. All of this—the words and ideas and images—he recast in exuberant, sensual canvases; sometimes on a epic scale, in multiple-panel paintings, Twombly created a sometimes-inscrutable world of iconography, metaphor, language, and myth.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Rio says:

    A rose is a rose is a rose?

    1. Sigrun says:

      I have been thinking about Gertrude, but I don’t really mange to get close to her or her project. So … no?

  2. namelessneed says:

    thank you for posting these/ valuable

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