Nicolas Poussin

1594-1665 France-Baroque

 

Brief Biography-Nicolas (Nicolo) Poussin was born in Andily, Normandy where he received his first instruction from the artist Quentin Varin. At the age of eighteen, he stealthily left home for Paris. He received some unsatisfactory tuition from two artists in Paris named Ferdinand Elle and Georges L’Allemand. In 1620, he made a brief visit to Florence, but four years later he made it to Rome under the guidance of an Italian poet named the Cavaliére Marini whom he met in Paris. The classical remains of Rome that he encountered occupied him for the remainder of his life. He studied the works of Matteo Zoccolino for perspective and the paintings of Titian and Raphael, but Domenichino, whose studio he worked in, mostly influenced him. Cardinal Barberini, the nephew of the Pontiff, commissioned work from him.
He went through a successful period until his fortunes changed when the Cardinal left Rome and his patron Marini died. He was to sell paintings for small sums and suffered a severe illness. In 1630 however, he married Anna Maria, the daughter of a patron which allowed him to purchase a house, and through the return of Cardinal Barberini, gained many more commissions. In 1640, Louis XIII persuaded him to return to Paris and bestowed on him a pension and house in the garden of the Tuileries. After two years he became weary of contrived schemes by jealous rivals at court, and he returned to Rome. Poussin had achieved wide acclaim by this time and was never to return to his homeland after that. He continued to work in Rome until he died in 1665.
The most common discredit he was to receive from critics was his use of colour, which was said to be of a solemn tone by most, and there was a stiffness in his works brought on by his study of antique statues and bas-reliefs, particularly in his later works. Ruskin stated he lacked sensibility, was mentally degraded and untrue.
He was to have a strong influence on many notable artists including Jacques Louis David and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.

 

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The Dance to the
Music of Time

The Dance to the Music of Time

The Finding
of Moses

The Finding of Moses

The Triumph of
Neptune

The Triumph of Neptune

The Victory
of Joshua

The Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites

Venus and
Adonis

Venus and Adonis

The Holy Family
with Saint Ann-

The Holy Family with Saint Ann

Bacchanal Before
a Statue of Pan

Bacchanal Before a Statue of Pan

Cephalus and
Aurora

Cephalus and Aurora

Blind Orion Searching
for the Rising Sun

Blind Orion Searching for the Rising sun

Martyrdom of
Saint Erasmus

Martyrdom of Erasnus

Destruction
of the Temple

Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem

Triumph
of Pan

Triumph of Pan

Diane and
Endymion

Diane et Endymion

Adoration of the
Golden Calf

doration of the Golden Calf

Eliezer and
Rebecca

Eliezer and Rebecca

Rape of the
Sabine Women

Rape of the Sabine Women

Funeral
of Phocion

Funeral of Phocion

Helios and Phaeton
with Saturn

Helios and Phaeton with Saturn and the Four Seasons

Plague
at Ashdod

Plague at Ashdod

Christ and the
Woman Taken

Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery

Hymenaios Disguised
as a Woman During

Hymenaios Disguised as a Woman During an Offering to Priapus

The Triumph
of Flora

The Triumph of Flora

Landscape with
Aloe and Thisbe

Landscape with Aloe and Thisbe

Ideal
Landscape

 Ideal Landscape

Jupiter as a Child by
the Goat Amalthea

Jupiter as a Child by the Goat Amalthea Nourished

Lamentation
of Christ

Lamentation of Christ

Landscape with
Polyphemus

Landscape with Polyphemus

Massacre of the
Innocents

Massacre of the Innocents

Midas
and Bacchus

Midas and Bacchus

Moses Strikes Water
from the Rock

Moses Strikes Water from the Rock

Narcissus
and Echo

Narcissus and Echo

Orpheus
and Eurydice

Orpheus and Eurydice

Pan
and Syrinx

Pan and Syrinx

Empire
of Flora

Empire of Flora

Rinaldo
and Armida

Rinaldo and Armida

Sacrament of
penance

Sacrament of penance

Saint
Cecilia

Saint Cecilia

Self-
portrait

Self-portrait

Surprising Sleeping
Venus by Satyr

Surprising Sleeping Venus by Satyr

Tancred
and Herminia

Tancred and Herminia

The Ascent of
Saint Paul

The Ascent of Saint Paul

The Crossing of
the Red Sea

The Crossing of the Red Sea

The Death of
Germanicus

The Death of Germanicus

The Death of
Saffira

The Death of Saffira

The Four Seasons-
Summer

The Four Seasons-Summer

The Jews Gathering
the Manna

The Jews Gathering the Manna in the Desert

The Shepherds of
Arcadia

The Shepherds of Arcadia

The
Winter

Winter

Extreme
Unction

Extreme Unction

Venus a Faun
and Putti

Venus a Faun and Putti

The Time and the
Truth-Allegory

The Time and the Truth-Allegory

Acis and
Galatea

Acis and Galatea

Lamentation over
the Dead Christ

The Lamentation over the Dead Christ

two puttii fighting
mounted on goats

two puttii fighting mounted on goats