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Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters, Dulwich Picture Gallery | reviews, news & interviews

Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters, Dulwich Picture Gallery

This odd pairing is not a marriage made in heaven

Twombly's 'Hero and Leandro (After Christopher Marlowe)' takes as its theme the classical legend of the doomed lovers

Some years ago the Dulwich Picture Gallery invited Howard Hodgkin to exhibit alongside the Old Masters in their collection. I am not a fan of this vastly overrated artist, but even a diehard enthusiast must have found the juxtaposition cruel. How could Hodgkin’s crudely daubed, splishy-sploshy canvases (I exempt from the description a few works painted at the highpoint of his career in the mid-Seventies) bear scrutiny against works by Rubens or Rembrandt? They couldn’t, and the exhibition was a car crash. So how will an artist whose works appear similarly unrestrained and unstructured fare in his “conversation” with just one formidable Old Master?

Twombly might have been better paired with Monet, however obvious a pairing that may seem

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