Cy Twombly’s Leda and the Swan, 1962 will be a highlight of Christies May 17th Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale. This unequivocal tour de force has resided within a private collection for over 25 years and has not been seen publicly in all that time. One of two large format masterpieces to emerge from this unbridled subject, Leda and the Swan’s heroic sister painting of the same title is among the most popular works on view within the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Never before at auction, the painting has only had two private owners and is completely fresh to the market (estimate $35-55million).
Koji Inoue, International Director, Post-War and Contemporary Art, remarked:
“Hidden from public view for over 25 years, we are thrilled to present one of Cy Twombly’s absolute masterpieces in Leda and the Swan, 1962. This is a remarkable painting that has been pursued by collectors for decades. Impregnated with paint passionately and poetically applied with the hand, brush and stick, Leda and the Swan, is one of the most vital canvases created during this transformative period in the artist’s career. Given its tremendous importance within the context of both Twombly’s oeuvre, and the canon of Post-War art, we are honored to have the opportunity to offer this work to the market after nearly thirty clandestine years. This is also a particularly exciting time for the Twombly market, given its overlap with the Centre Pompidou’s groundbreaking retrospective of the artist’s expansive career.”