He then went to live semi-permanently in Rome where he developed his new style which simultaneously exacerbated all the passions : erotic, pornographic, criminal, scatological. He tries to feel by himself all these impulses in a semi-automatic creative act for which he paints directly with his hands and adds his own graffiti.
The rape of Leda by Jupiter in the form of a swan is for him a complete theme, with his sexual act that generates a mythical fecundity.
In 1962 Twombly executed two Leda and the Swan in the same format 191 x 200 cm certainly chosen to give an idea of the life size representation of this scuffle in an abstraction mixing the illusion of bodies and feathers. One of them is exhibited in the Museum Of Modern Art in New York. The other is estimated $ 35M for sale by Christie's in New York on May 17, lot 6 B.
The comparison between both works is significant. Their similar explosion demonstrates that the artist's scripture, although based on an impulsive gesture, responds to a pre-defined global conception. The MoMA's Leda is more complete because it includes the usual graffiti missing in the version offered at auction. In both cases in the upper part of the image the small drawing of a modern window appears, symbolizing the artist's message about the timeless character of the passions.
Please watch the video shared by Christie's.
SOLD for $ 53M including premium