The most prominent artist in the Brandhorst Collection is the American Cy Twombly, born in Lexington (Virginia) in 1928 and deceased 2011 in Rome. After attending various art colleges he briefly visited Black Mountain College for a short time before setting off on a tour of Europe and North Africa with Robert Rauschenberg. Ever since that time, Twombly has concerned himself with the Mediterranean region which has become one of his most important sources of inspiration. Like no other, Twombly’s art has reached a synthesis of image and text. Apart from Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, Twombly is the most important representative of a generation of artists who distanced themselves from Abstract Expressionism. Like his two colleagues, he succeeded in introducing not only a new era of American art but also in developing a highly influential pictorial language of his very own.
Twombly’s monumental work "Lepanto" of 2001, comprising twelve canvases, is to take up a permanent position in a central room in the museum, designed to the artist’s own wishes. With more than 170 works – paintings, sculptures and drawings – from various periods of Twombly's creative output, the Brandhorst Collection offers an overview of this unusual artist’s development and is, as such, the most important outside the United States, comparable only with the Cy Twombly Gallery in the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas.