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US artist Cy Twombly dies aged 83

6th July 2011

Famed US artist Cy Twombly, best known for his abstract and calligraphy paintings, has died at the age of 83.

Born in Virginia in 1928, Twombly studied in New York during the abstract expressionism boom and shot to stardom in the 1950s when his calligraphy drawings garnered significant attention.

He later moved to Rome, a city which inspired many of his subsequent works, with Mediterranean themes running through several of his later paintings.

Last year, at the age of 82, he became the first artist in over 50 years to paint a ceiling in the Louvre in Paris, though it is perhaps his signature 'scribbles' for which Twombly will be best remembered.

His scratches and annotations on many of his works are instantly recognisable and have led to several pieces fetching millions of pounds at auction.

Tributes have been paid around the world following the artist's death, with Marie-Laure Bernadac, the Louvre's head of contemporary art, commenting: 'I am shattered by the news of his death. We have lost a tremendous person, a special and unique artist who was very quickly adopted by Europe.'

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