Robert Rauschenberg, contact sheet showing Cy Twombly in Rome, 1952
This contact sheet is part of the SFMOMA Rauschenberg research project. What’s interesting is the widely seen photograph of Twombly at the Musei Capitolini (Cy + Relics) is on the same roll of film as Cy + Roman Steps (I-V). They are at a similar location in Rome, so it’s not much of a surprise that they were taken on the same afternoon. Another hint is Twombly is wearing the same outfit. I’ve never seen the full-size frame of Twombly looking down.
Nicholas Cullinan’s essay on Cy + Roman Steps (I-V) offers interesting pieces of information that I wasn’t aware of. First, Twombly had applied as a photographer for the fellowship trip to Rome. Rauschenberg helped him make portfolio prints. (Do these prints exist?) Second, there’s discussion of Muybridge’s influence on this work. Rauschenberg owned several Muybridge prints at the time and gifted Twombly a Muybridge. And Cullinan’s 2007 interviews with Twombly in Italy revealed that Muybridge (as well as Duchamp) was an influence on the Treatise on the Veil paintings.
See previously, review of Cy Twombly: Photographs 1951-2007