Thursday, August 10, 2006

Leda and the Swan

The first painting by Cy Twombly (displayed in the MoMa, NY) was the beginning of my fascination with abstract art. Leda and the Swan was a common theme with many Renaissance and Baroque artists, however I had not seen one in abstract art before. Just as a contrast, I have put up another version from renaissance, a copy of a Leonardo painting (the orginal, unfortunately did not survive).

I felt the sentiment in Twombly's work was more close to Yeats' rather daring take of the Greek mythology in his controversial poem below. I loved the way in which Twombly has expressed this. Simple lines, complete absence of form, yet so full of raw emotions .................helplessness, pain, roughness, devastation......

Leda and the Swan
-W.B. Yeats

Sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By his dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
How can anybody, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?
A shudder in the loins, engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

No comments:

Faces among faces

Acrylic (with knives only) on canvas