The work of the great French painter Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) is most often associated with classically inspired settings and figures depicting solemn scenes from mythology or the Bible. Yet he also created some of the most influential landscapes in Western art, endowing them with a poetic quality that has been admired by artists as different as Constable, Turner, and Cézanne. As the British critic William Hazlitt noted in 1844, “This great and learned man might be said to see nature through the glass of time.”
This beautiful catalogue presents the first in-depth examination of Poussin’s landscapes. Featured here are more than 40 paintings, ranging from the artist’s early Venetian-inspired pastorals to his grandly structured and austere works, designed as metaphors or allegories for the processes of nature. Also included are approximately 60 drawings and essays by internationally renowned scholars who examine the painter’s visual, literary, and philosophical influences as well as his relationships with his patrons and his place in the art-historical canon.
Pierre Rosenberg is a member of the Académie Française and Honorary President-Director of the Musée du Louvre. Keith Christiansen is Jayne Wrightsman Curator of European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.