The Art of Nicolas Poussin

Page 9 (249-280)

Paintings: (1-31) . (32-61) . (62-94) . (95-122) . (123-154) . (155-186) . (187-216) . (217-248) . (249-280) . (281-320). Drawings: (1-40) . (41-80) . (81-120) . (121-160)

Moses being found in the River Unknown date and place

This yet another painting of Moses being saved from the river. Again I am unsure whether this is truly by Poussin or not. However it does break with his tradition of having Bacchus watching Moses being lifted from the water which is so prevalent in all his other paintings of Moses being saved.

The Confession of Copia

I think this is a copy of a missing original. Original title was Penance and it was destroyed in a fire in Belvoir Castle, Grantham in 1816

Hymenaeus travestido durante um sacrifico a Priapo
oil on canvs
167 x 376 cm

According to the dimensions given this painting is 5'6" high by 12' 4'' wide. I wonder where one hdies a painting this large as this is the only copy or picture of this painting I have seen.
Sainte Famille

Not sure if this is by Poussin or not
Moses trampling the crown of Pharoah a second version

Not sure if this should be reversed or not. In this version the knife is in the left hand. If we reverse it, not only is the knife in the right hand but it corresponds almost exactly with the positions of the first version. Still checking on which is correct.

. . . . .
Mars et Venus after Poussin
La Sainte Famille avec saint Jean et sainte Elisabeth dans un paysage
La Sainte famille avec sainte Elisabeth et le petit saint Jean after Poussin
Death of The Virgin
Concert d'Amours
Engraved by Frey after a picture by Nicolas Poussin

Poussin and Suzanhah engraved by Frey

Ovid Metam Engraved by I Frey after a picture by Nicolas Poussin
Apollon amoureux de Daphne
This could be a new painting by Poussin. Still unsure.
Study for a lost painting of Salome
after Poussin - Study for lost version of The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine
oil on canvas
53 x 41.9 cm.jpg

Acquired by a private collector

Ovid (Metamorphosis 3: 339-510) relates how Echo was condemned by the goddess Juno to repeat only the last words that were spoken to her. Narcissus, as a punishment for spurning Echo, was made to fall in love with his own reflection and pined away gazing at himself in a pool. In the present picture Cupid draws an arrow intended for Narcissus.

Poussin painted at least one other composition depicting Narcissus which is now in the Louvre. Sir Denis Mahon has proposed a dating of c. 1627 for the present work. This date would make it broadly contemporary with the Louvre's Echo and Narcissus.

The poetic mood of this intimate canvas, a mood set as much by the landscape as by the rendering of Narcissus, places this work securely among a group inspired by Poussin's knowledge of Titian, and in particular his response to the D'Este Bacchanals then in the Aldobrandi collection in Rome. Poussin was also inspired by Titian's figural poses and would frequently reinterprete them for his own his compositions. The figure of Narcissus in our picture, especially the downturned profile of his head can be traced to the figure of Bacchus in Titian's Bacchus and Ariadne now in the National Gallery, London. Poussin returns to the pose of the Narcissus a few years later in the celebrated Empire of Flora, 1631 (Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen) for his figure of Hyacinth
Orpheus and Eurydice
Style of Nicolas Poussin (French, third quarter 17th century)
Oil on canvas; 47 1/2 x 70 3/4 in. (120.7 x 179.7 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.20)

Provenance/Ownership History

General Craig, London (sale, Christie's, London, April 18, 1812, no. 73, for 181 gns.); D. E. Benardaki, Saint Petersburg; Earls of Dunmore, Dunmore Park, near Falkirk (by 1835–at least 1857); Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, New York (1907; purchased in Italy through A. E. Harnisch with MMA 29.100.21 for L 15,000 the pair); Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, New York (1907–29; Cat. 1931, pp. 162–63, ill., as by Poussin; 2nd ed., 1958, p. 31, no. 178, ill.)

On Poussin, History, and Prophecy

In 1642 Poussin created a frontispiece for a book of sacred writing, the Biblia Sacra, published in Paris. The illustration was engraved by Claude Mellan. It is a profoundly mysterious illustration. It features three figures. On top is God himself, vaulting from a sacred aureole of light towards the picture plane, as if physically enacting the divine power of the Word. Below and to the left is a conventional iconographic figure of the time, Historia or the angel of history, with wings, a quill pen, an open book. She looks back over her shoulder, away from God and away from the book in which she is writing, while one foot is raised on a marble block so that the leg can support the heavy book as it is being inscribed. To the right of Historia is a figure shrouded eerily from head to foot. All is covered, even face and hands. It holds a closed book and, on top of it, a small Egyptian sphinx: Prophecy.

Oscar Bätschmann, in Nicolas Poussin: Dialectics of Painting (London: Reaktion Books, 1990), traces the history of the iconography of the figure of history (see detail to right).

He comments: "Historia looks back to past times ... and holds her pen in a book whose opened page is in the dark. The contrast between this darkness and the aureole of light surrounding God turns the darkness into a metaphor for writing...."

Note also History's foot propped up on a stone block, to support the heavy book as she writes.

And what of the shrouded figure holding the sphinx, next to Historia under God in Poussin's picture? (See closeup to left.)

Bätschmann notes Poussin's own remarks about the sphinx as a representation of the obscurity of enigmatic things" (58). Perhaps this shrouded figure is here to reinforce the paradox of God's light being encoded into a shadowed page: the Word is writ on a page, darkly, and all interpretations are a darkened reflection of this shadowed text. Such an interpretation in Poussin's frontispiece casts a shadow over the entire Biblia Sacra that his illustration is supposed to introduce. It is an illustration that does not illumine so much as darken.

Poussin's depiction of History and Prophecy in the Biblia Sacra frontispiece contrasts in intriguing ways with
related images in Poussin of prophets seated amidst ruins whose writings are guided by an angel. Two in particular are notable, from famous paintings: St. John at Patmos and St. Matthew and the Angel.
Poussin, Seventeenth Century, interprets the story to show refugees fleeing a massacre (the Slaughter of the Innocents). This is unusual

First recorded in the 19th century in the collection of the Rev. Heneage Finch. In the 1960's in the collection of Lawrence Gowing. Numberr 60 in Blunt's list and B22 in Thuillier (doubtful it is a Poussin but not convinced it is by Mellin) Wild; M2 attrributed to Charles Mellin.

This moving picture, like the Nancy, "Entry into Jeruslaem" appears to habe been left unfinished. It is close in style to th eNancy picture which in turn is related to the dulwich Triumph of David.
Campo Vaccino, Rome - Musée du Louvre.jpg
Scene d'histoire de Rome
Huile sur toile,
124cm x 158cm.jpg
Bacchanale (Bacchus et Ariane)

I had posted a black and white on an earlier page but then found this one. Very nice indeed.

Maler-processionen. 1609-1809 after poussin
Follower of Nicolas Poussin
The Finding of Moses
oil on paper laid down on canvas
Mercury and Herse
by Thomas Blanchet ???
c. 1650
Oil on canvas 38 x 52 inches (97.8 x 132.7 cm) maybe Poussin IMHO
Saint Denis Frightening His Executioners With His Head by Nicholas Poussin

A painting "attributed to Pietro Testa" in the catalogue sold for £155,000 to a syndicate of dealers coached by the great scholar Sir Denis Mahon, with another London dealer as underbidder. It would be eventually authenticated as a lost "Capture of Jerusalem by Titus" by Nicolas Poussin and it would be sold in 1998 to Lord Rothschild, who donated it most appropriately, to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

"Discoveries like this are made only occasionally, and no one of us, regardless of an ‘eye,’ can spot them all, even after physically seeing them. No one’s viscera reacts to every artist’s ‘handwriting,’" Mr. Feigen reflected, noting that he spent almost two decades trying to authenticate a painting he bought as a "Filippo Napolitano, a contemporary of Poussin, in 1975 from Malcolm Waddingham in London as "Saint Denis Frightening His Executioners with His Head," shown below. Feigen finally had the work widely accepted as a Poussin in 1994 when he exhibited it as part of his Poussin Before Rome exhibition.

Click here to read the whole article on the discoverer.

New Poussin Painting

Don't know too much about this one yet.

Paintings: (1-31) . (32-61) . (62-94) . (95-122) . (123-154) . (155-186) . (187-216) . (217-248) . (249-280) . Drawings: (1-40) . (41-80) . (81-120) . (121-160)