Lepanto III


Medium: Monoprint, printed from a cardboard plate

Sheet Size: 38 3/4 x 24 1/4 inches

Frame size: 47 1/8 x 32 11/16 inches

Printer: The Artist

Publisher: Julie Sylvester Cabot for the Whitney Museum of American Art Editions, New York

Edition size: 12, plus proofs

Catalogue Raisonné: Bastian 86

Signed and numbered in pencil, lower margin

More details

Five years prior to the Lepanto canvases of 2001, Cy Twombly (1928-2011) produced 3 monotypes that project the motif of an ancient ship though skeleton-like silhouettes. These were the 3 unique Lepanto prints that echo the symbol of the ship, contouring the larger narrative Twombly attempted to portray of one of the most brutal sea battles in history that took place between the armadas of the Occident and the Orient in the Gulf of Patras in 1571.

Using a blunt object, Twombly inscribed pieces of corrugated cardboard covered in black paint. He pressed the drawing paper into these “plates” and produced scrawling and irregular lines with a roughly textured surface. The prints created for the 1996 inaugural commission for the Whitney Museum of American Art Editions were done much earlier using a similar technique in 1953 — representing Twombly’s first graphic works.