Cy Twombly’s Death of Actaeon (1962/63)
Now the dogs are loud and black. Now what should
be blood and skin is yellowing as a fire fighting to ignite
everywhere yellows at its edges. There is no wind in the trees,
no wild heavens, no movement but on the earth. We find
ourselves at the end of a story, past the stumbling into
sin, beyond the transgression or whatever it is sets a goddess off.
Artemis, dressed in dignity and sanity, is gone, left before
the finale. Yes. Here it is: the forest full of black dogs,
loud but not barking, and Actaeon, their teeth in his seams, horns
held high, belling out their names. Yes. Well. She’s gone.