In 1996 Cy Twombly began work on a series of sculptures and monoprints that were based on imagery from the Battle of Lepanto – the series was exhibited in December of that year at the Whitney Museum. The prints were published by the museum after a long hiatus from printmaking by the artist. The present lot is an example from that series, and features a naval ship from the battle rendered in rich black tone.
The Battle of Lepanto took place in the Gulf of Lepanto in the Greek isles between the Ottoman Empire and a coalition formed between Spain, Venice and the Papacy. Beyond its historical significance the battle was also an important touchstone for painters from the Old Master tradition, including Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese.