Nicolas Poussin

Annie Lee | Nov 10, 2023

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Nicolas Poussin (1594, Les Andelies, Normandy - November 19, 1665, Rome) was a French painter and one of the founders of Classicist painting. He spent a considerable part of his active artistic life in Rome, where he stayed from 1624 and was under the patronage of Cardinal Francesco Barberini. Thanks to the favor of King Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu, he was awarded the title of the first painter of the King. In 1640 he came to Paris, but could not adjust to the position at the royal court and suffered a number of conflicts with leading French artists. In 1642, Poussin returned to Italy, where he lived until his death, fulfilling the orders of the French royal court and a small group of enlightened collectors. He died and was buried in Rome.

Jacques Tuillier's 1994 catalog identifies 224 paintings by Poussin, the attribution of which is not in doubt, as well as 33 works, the authorship of which may be disputed. Paintings by the artist made on historical, mythological and biblical subjects, marked by the strict rationalism of composition and the choice of artistic means. An important means of self-expression for him was the landscape. One of the first artists Poussin appreciated monumentality of local color and theorized the superiority of line over color. After his death, his statements became the theoretical basis of academism and the activities of the Royal Academy of Painting. His creative style was closely studied by Jacques-Louis David and Jean-Auguste Dominique Engres. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, assessments of Poussin's worldview and interpretations of his work changed radically.

The most important primary source of Nicolas Poussin's biography is the surviving correspondence - a total of 162 letters. Twenty-five of them, written in Italian, were sent from Paris Cassiano dal Pozzo - the Roman patron of the artist - and dated from January 1, 1641 to September 18, 1642. Almost all other correspondence, from 1639 to the artist's death in 1665, is a monument to his friendship with Paul Fréard de Chantel, counselor to the court and royal maitre d'. These letters are written in French and make no claim to a high literary style, being an important source of Poussin's daily activities. The correspondence with Dal Pozzo was first published in 1754 by Giovanni Bottari, but in a somewhat corrected form. The original letters are preserved in the French National Library. Poussin's biographer, Paul Desjardins, referred to the 1824 edition of the artist's letters issued by Dido as "falsified.

The first biographies of Poussin were published by his Roman friend Giovanni Pietro Bellori, who served as librarian to Queen Christina of Sweden, and André Felibien, who met the artist in Rome, while he was secretary of the French Embassy (1647) and later as royal historiographer. Bellori's book Vite de' Pittori, Scaltori ed Architetti moderni was dedicated to Colbert and was published in 1672. Poussin's biography contains brief handwritten notes on the nature of his art, which are preserved in manuscript in the library of Cardinal Massimi. Only in the middle of the twentieth century did it become clear that Poussin's "Remarks on Painting", i.e. the so-called "modus", were nothing more than extracts from ancient and Renaissance treatises. The Vita di Pussino from Bellori's book was not published in French until 1903.

Felibien's book Entretiens sur les vies et sur les ouvrages des plus excellents peintres anciens et modernes was published in 1685. It devoted 136 pages in-quarto to Poussin. According to P. Desjardins, it is "a real hagiography. The value of this work was added to its published five long letters, including one addressed to Felibien himself. This biography of Poussin is also valuable because it contained Felibien's personal recollections of his appearance, manners, and household habits. Felibien set out a chronology of Poussin's work based on the accounts of his brother-in-law, Jean Duguet. However, both Bellori and Félibien were apologists for academic classicism. In addition, the Italian sought to prove the influence of the Italian academic school on Poussin.

Lifelong memories of Poussin were also left by the Roman painter Giovanni Battista Passeri (published only in 1772) and Bonaventure d'Argonne. Also left in the manuscript were the papers of the Abbé Nicaise, which describe Poussin's demise and his remaining possessions. P. Desjardins noted that although more documentary evidence and memories of Poussin's contemporaries remain from Poussin than from most old masters, - almost no documents have survived that would allow a detailed examination of the artist's life before his 45th birthday. Poussin's early years are virtually unknown and leave a great deal of room for reconstruction and speculation; "the image formed in our minds is the autumn of his work.

Origins. Discipleship

There is almost no information about the childhood and youth of the future artist. Nicolas Poussin was born at the farmhouse of Villers, two and a half miles from Les Andelies in Normandy. His father, Jean, descended from a family of notaries and a veteran of King Henry IV's army, descended from a lineage which has been mentioned in documents since the 1280s and was originally from Soissons. His mother, Marie de Laisement, was the widow of the procurator of Vernon and had a daughter, Marguerite. Marie came from a wealthy peasant family and was illiterate. Perhaps Jean Poussin, being in his fifth decade and not having made a fortune, decided that marrying a widow met his needs in life.

The date of birth of Nicolas Poussin is not exactly known. The date traditionally referred to in literature as June 15 is a convention, since no church books have survived in Andelie. The first biographers of Poussin did not give exact dates: Bellory named only the year, 1594, and Felibien added the month, June. Poussin himself, dating his self-portrait to 1650 in one of his letters, claimed that he was born in 1593. About the relationship of the son with his parents remained no evidence; in any case, after leaving for Italy, he completely broke off all communication with the small motherland, and his relatives called "rude and ignorant.

Presumably, Nicolas was educated at the Jesuit Latin school in Rouen. André Felibien quoted an anecdote according to which the young Poussin liked to draw to such an extent that he covered all his school notebooks with images of imaginary people, to the great displeasure of his parents. There is a version that Poussin received his first lessons in painting in Rouen from the itinerant artist Nouvelle Juvenet. Further drawings of young Poussin, apparently, attracted the attention of Quentin Varennes, who was then working in Andely on a church order. Around 1610, Nicolas Poussin became his pupil, and his subsequent work demonstrates a certain influence of Varennes, particularly his attention to subject matter, the precise rendering of facial expression, the subtlety of drapery, and his desire to use subtle yet rich color combinations. However, early biographers did not mention apprenticeship with Waren. The prevailing version argues that his parents did not wish their son a career as a painter, and at the age of 18, Nicola ran away from his father's home to Paris. According to Y. Zolotov, the romanticized version of his biography smoothed out the "sharp corners" of Poussin's Parisian life.

According to T. Kaptereva, "the artistic life of the French capital at that time was characterized by great motleyness and a lack of major and distinctive painters. At the same time, the art market was on the rise, both because of the orders of Queen Maria de' Medici, who wished to decorate the capital and suburban residences, and at the request of wealthy Parisian merchants. In addition, provincial churches and monasteries that had suffered from the religious wars were also in need of restoration and restoration. But it was not easy for a provincial to enter the closed corporation of artists and sculptors. According to Roger de Peel (1699), young Poussin spent about three months in the studio of Flemish Ferdinand van Elle, but parted with him because van Elle specialized in portraits - a genre, which afterwards of little interest to the artist. Then he went to Georges Lallemant, but also did not agree with him in character. In addition, Poussin expected to be deeply involved in drawing, and the lack of attention to the accuracy of Lallemant's reproduction of figures did not suit his apprentice. Apparently, Poussin was distinguished bright personality already in 1610-ies and did not fit in the brigade method, is widely used in the art of the time. All his life Poussin painted very slowly, exclusively by himself.

Paris to Poitou. Trip to Florence (1616-1618)

Artists in the capital were not too tolerant of "outsiders," fighting them, including through fines and lawsuits. According to extant documents, Poussin faced substantial debts in Paris, which he was unable to pay. He eventually returned to his parents' home and apparently rejoined Varennes. Together they again arrived in Paris in 1616. The most important consequence of Poussin's second appearance in the capital was his acquaintance with Alexandre Courtois, valet to Queen Dowager Maria de Medici and keeper of the royal art collections and library. Poussin was able to visit the Louvre and copy paintings by Italian artists there. Alexandre Courtois owned a collection of engravings of paintings by Italians Raphael and Giulio Romano, which fascinated Poussin. According to another version, his acquaintance with Courtois took place as early as 1612. In the royal collection Poussin could for the first time get acquainted with antique art as well.

Poussin's first patron in Paris was Chevalier Henri Avis of Poitou, who, according to Félibien, introduced the artist to the court. Poussin was given the opportunity to work in a hospital and study anatomy. However, Avis soon took Poussin to his estate, where he commissioned him to decorate the interiors, but Nicolas did not develop a relationship with the chevalier's mother, who looked upon him as a completely useless sponger and used him as a servant. He left Poitou, and in order to pay his contractual penalty, executed several landscapes for the Château de Clisson in the Lower Loire, images of Saints Francis and Charles Borromeo for the Capuchin church in Blois, and a Bacchanalia for the Count of Chiverney in the same city. All of these paintings are lost. The hard work led to an illness from which Poussin recovered for almost a year. He lived during this time in his native place and tried his best to paint, it is believed that his brush belonged to a landscape painting in the house of Hugonet in Grand Andelie above the fireplace; according to E. Deniau, this work gives the impression of a sketch rather than a finished work.

Poussin aspired to Italy, to study ancient and Renaissance art. Around 1618 he went to Rome, but only made it as far as Florence. Bellori's biography deafens to some kind of misfortune, but apparently the reason was lack of funds and inability to earn money. The dating of all the above events is extremely difficult, as it is not supported by any documents; the canonical biographies do not give dates either. According to Y. Zolotov, Poussin's trip to Florence is unlikely to be considered accidental, since thanks to Queen Maria de' Medici connections between the Parisian and Florentine artistic circles were regular. It is quite possible that the opportunity to go to Italy also presented itself through an acquaintance with Courtois. Poussin's creative formation was probably greatly influenced by the monuments of the Quattrocento, and the fact that he went to Florence earlier than to Venice and Rome was of great importance for his development.

Paris-Lyon (1619-1623)

Around 1619-1620 Poussin created a canvas called St. Dionysius the Areopagite for the church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxeroy. In search of work, he wandered around the province, some time spent in Dijon. According to Felibien, after Florence the artist settled in the College of Lans and made much effort to master light and shadow, perspective and symmetry. Judging by his own (albeit late) judgement, Poussin was greatly influenced by the work of Frans Pourbus, Toussaint Dubreuil, and Primiticcio. One of these artists was a contemporary of Poussin, the others belonged to the "Second Fontainebleau School." Without accepting Mannerism, Poussin found in all of the above artists a circle of classical subjects and themes close to him. Yu. Zolotov wrote:

Vasari called Fontainebleau "the new Rome," and Poussin had not yet seen the real Rome.

Felibien mentioned that, together with other artists, Poussin received several minor commissions to decorate the Luxembourg Palace. The contract was concluded in April 1621, but Poussin's name is not mentioned in it, just as his works for this palace are unknown. In 1622 Poussin again tried to go to Rome, but he was arrested in Lyon because of debts. A serious order helped him pay up: the Parisian Jesuit college commissioned Poussin and other artists to paint six large paintings on subjects from the lives of St. Ignatius Loyola and St. Francis Xavier; the latter had just been canonized. These paintings, executed in the technique a la détrempe, have not survived. According to Bellori, the panels in question were painted in only six days, which indicates both his reputation and his painterly skill. The fact that the artist was commissioned for the altar of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on the theme of the Assumption of the Virgin, and apparently on behalf of the Parisian Archbishop de Gondi, who is depicted as a donor, also testifies to his place and authority in the French art of the time. This is the first of Poussin's surviving major paintings, executed before his departure for Italy. Its fate was complicated: in 1793, the revolutionary administration nationalized the altarpiece and in 1803 it was sent to the Brussels Museum, one of the 15 provincial museums founded by Napoleon. After 1814, the painting was not mentioned in catalogs and was considered lost. Only traces remain, in the form of several watercolors and sketches by Poussin himself (including a modello). Only in 2000, the "Assumption of the Virgin Mary" was identified by art historian Pierre-Yves Kairis in a church in Sterrenbeke and became one of the biggest discoveries in the study of Poussin's heritage. P. Kairis noted that Poussin went out of his way to violate the canons of the Council of Trient by depicting the bishop-donor as well as St. Dionysius, who was placed at the Virgin's bedside in one of the Apocrypha. The image demonstrates a monumental composition with simultaneous simplicity of form. Poussin was clearly familiar with Italian art by this time, perhaps with Caravaggio's painting of the same subject or its counterpart by Carlo Saraceni.

Poussin and Chevalier Marino

In the 1620s, Poussin's work attracted the attention of the Italian poet, Chevalier Marino, who lived in France. His patronage allowed the 30-year-old artist to work and develop in peace. The circumstances under which the young artist drew the attention of a famous intellectual, remain unknown. In part, it seems to be related to the social environment of the time and the so-called libertines. Marino was associated with the unorthodox thinkers of Italy, including Giordano Bruno and Giulio Vanini; the ideas of the latter had some influence on the imagery and content of the poem Adonis. Marino considered the deep inner affinity between painting and poetry to be obvious, and Adonis, published in Paris in 1623, implemented these postulates to some extent. Cavalier, like Poussin, regarded Raphael's work as the unattainable model of art. According to Bellori, the poet sheltered the artist in his house, "actively assisting him in composing subjects and conveying emotions"; his status was not defined. Apparently, Poussin was a common client at the time, owing his patron a "personal service". On the positive side, in the house of Marino, Poussin had full access to the library, which contained treatises by Leon Battista Alberti and Dürer, as well as some manuscripts and drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. Bellori claimed that Poussin executed several illustrations for Marino's poem Adonis, preserved in the Roman library of Cardinal Massimi. They are now interpreted as sketches for Ovid's Metamorphoses, the earliest surviving works by Poussin. The collection at Windsor Castle contains 11 graphic sheets (9 horizontal and 2 vertical) and four battle scenes. One of these drawings, The Birth of Adonis, was described by Bellori and served as the basis for the identification of this series. According to Y. Zolotov, in the drawings made for Marino, the characteristic feature of Poussin's style - the disclosure of the dramatic meaning of the event through the state of its participants, expressed in word and gesture - clearly manifested. The mature Poussin called this method "the painter's alphabet."

It is noteworthy that in his early works on ancient subjects Poussin resolutely broke with the established tradition of depicting dramatic scenes in theatrical scenery and avoided 17th century costumes with elaborate headdresses, necklines and lace. "Birth of Adonis" demonstrates all the leading features of Poussin's style in general. The dominants are Myrrh, transforming into a tree, and Lucina, receiving a baby; they define the plot and composition center. The movements of the niads, which constitute the rhythmic interaction, are addressed to him. Y. Zolotov wrote that these figures manifested both relaxedness and the conditionality of the internal consistency of the action. The central action is framed on the left and right by the groups of three maidens talking to each other. The essential compositional role in this and other drawings by Poussin was played by the motif of the canopy, which drew the viewer's attention to the events in the foreground. The pen drawings are complemented by washings which allow for the application of light and shade effects and gradation of tone. Some of the leaves from Windsor clearly display motifs of the second Fontainebleau school - abrupt shifts in plan and figurative over-saturation. The choice of Metamorphoses seems to have had a profound philosophical significance. Poussin clearly demonstrated in his graphic works the severity of rhythm and the predominance of plastic principle, as well as the choice of high feelings with restraint in their expression. The idea of the conditioning of natural metamorphosis, as well as the story of the Golden Age that concludes the poem, became very popular in seventeenth-century French painting and social thought. An analysis of Poussin's early graphics shows that he developed a new, deeply individual style back in the Parisian period, which was not too favorable for his development.

Cavalier Marino returned to Italy in April 1623. Apparently, he was genuinely interested in the artist's work and summoned him to the papal court; the pontificate of Urban VIII had just begun. According to P. Desjardins, Poussin's career as an artist began with his arrival in Rome.

The first years in Rome. Adaptation

The exact date of Poussin's arrival in Italy is unknown. Bellori claimed that the Frenchman settled in the Eternal City in the spring of 1624. He also reported that the artist was about to depart with Marino, but something delayed him in Paris. Giulio Mancini and Lomeni de Brienne reported that Poussin first went to Venice to get acquainted with the local school of painting, and only a few months later settled in Rome. In the lists of parishioners of the Roman church of San Lorenzo in Luchina Poussin is mentioned since March 1624, among the 22 persons, mostly French artists living in the house of Simon Vouet. However, he moved rather quickly to Via Paolina, the French colony in Rome, as the parish records also attest. At that time there were many French artists in Rome, including Claude Lorrain. For all the disagreements with French painters, it was this environment that allowed Poussin, who spent almost his entire subsequent life in Rome, to maintain his national roots and traditions. Poussin first communicated with the two sculptors with whom he rented a studio together: Jacques Stella and Alessandro Algardi. In 1626, Pierre Mellin and the brothers François and Jérôme Ducenoy were all living in his studio. According to Zandrart, Poussin was particularly close friends with Claude Lorrain. Acquaintance with J. Stella may have occurred back in Lyon or Florence, where he worked in 1616. Poussin also communicated with the architectural landscape painter Jean Lemaire, with whom he later painted the Louvre. This circle was united by an affinity for classical antiquity.

In Rome, Poussin, who achieved some fame in his homeland, again had to start all over again. The first two years Poussin was deprived of patrons - Chevalier Marino recommended the Frenchman to Cardinal Francesco Barberini, but in 1624 the first patron went to Naples, where he died, and the cardinal in 1625 was sent to Spain as legate. He was accompanied by Cassiano dal Pozzo, later one of the artist's main patrons. Poussin was also introduced to the Marquis of Saccetti, but he showed no interest. To top it all off, Poussin was badly injured in a street fight, almost depriving him of the opportunity to paint. The painter's financial situation became critical: Felibien recounted Poussin's memories that he was forced to sell two battle canvases for seven ecus each, and the figure of the prophet for eight. This may have been because the artist contracted syphilis and refused to follow him to the hospital. Poussin found himself in a situation of time pressure, when, forced to earn a living, could not afford to unhurriedly reflect on new artistic impressions. Judging by the mentioned Bellory circle of his reading, Poussin feverishly mastered the techniques and methods of monumental painting, which was not engaged in France. He resumed his studies of anatomy with the surgeon Larcher, and painted subjects at the Academy of Domenichino and worked intensively in plein air - on the Capitol or in the gardens. His primary interest was in ancient ruins and sculptures. Much later Cassiano dal Pozzo even urged Poussin to "leave the marbles alone".

In addition to sketches, which he made all his life, Poussin measured antique statues. On the back of the drawing Victory of Joshua (preserved in Cambridge) preserved the results of measurements of Apollo of Belvedere. Poussin did not seek to "fill in" the lost fragments of ancient sculptures, which was common at that time. During the Roman period, the artist began to learn sculpture and, in addition to pictorial copies of exemplary works of art, began to make wax models. Thus, his copies of Titian's Bacchanalia remain, not only in oil, but also as a bas-relief, executed with one of the Duquesnoy brothers. Eugène Delacroix, who first drew attention to this method, noted that Poussin needed the figures and to achieve the right shadows. He also made wax figures for his paintings, draped them in cloth and arranged them in the right order on the board. This method was not an invention of Poussin, but was hardly used in his time. For Delacroix, it "dried up" Poussin's painting, the statuariness tearing apart the unity of the composition; on the contrary, Claude Lévi-Strauss considered the double creation a source of a particular monumentality that astonished even the opponents of the artist's work. M. Yampolsky wrote on this subject:

...the wax finds itself in a layer of ideality to which it does not culturally belong. In this case, the copying of the ideal model is done with paints. The wax had to be sublimated, as it were, by means of paints in a process of almost mechanical transfer to the canvas. The peculiarity of Poussin's painting is undoubtedly due in part to the fact that it retains traces of two opposing movements (toward ideality and toward naturalistic imitation) and of the material in which the movement toward ideality is carried out and for which it is not intended - wax.

Poussin's Renaissance interests were focused on the works of Raphael and Titian. The artist copied engravings from Raphael's paintings and frescoes in his homeland, and he did not abandon this practice in Italy. Sketches show that he also carefully studied the originals at the Stans of the Vatican and the Villa Farnesina. The Parnassus painting is clearly influenced by the frescoes in the Stansa della Señatura. Because antique painting in Poussin's time was virtually unknown, and the sculptures and reliefs only indirectly assisted compositional solutions, Raphael's works were sought out as standards of measure and rhythm. At the same time in the painting of Raphael dominated the plastic form and line. Poussin's fascination with Titian's Bacchanalia, which he had seen in Venice and several examples of which were kept in Rome, was a contrast. Felibien also emphasized Poussin's respect for the color solutions of the Venetian classic. This testifies, according to Y. Zolotov, not to eclecticism, but to the extreme breadth of artistic interests and flexibility of thinking. Poussin remained completely indifferent to the heritage of Michelangelo and Tintoretto.

Yuri Zolotov noted that even in Rome Poussin remained the most significant artist in terms of talent. Caravaggio died in 1610, Caravaggio had a tremendous influence on artistic life north of the Alps, but in Italy itself it was quickly replaced by other artistic movements. Caravaggio's naturalism and "substance" repulsed Poussin, with Felibien quoting the phrase "he appeared to ruin painting." Although both Bellori and Felibien insisted on the influence of the Academy of Bologna on Poussin, this does not appear to be the case. Against the background of Raphael and Titian, there was nothing to learn from the Bolognese, although the Bolognese academics as well as Poussin retained an attitude toward ancient models. The parallels between them are too general and incidental to be decisive. No documentary evidence of Poussin's dealings with Domenichino has survived, and the true follower of the Bolognese was Simon Vouet, Poussin's irreconcilable antagonist in the future. The Baroque also did not yet fully define the Italian art world and only became widespread in the next decade.

Painting by Poussin in the 1620s

Poussin's first surviving Roman paintings are battle scenes, though based on Old Testament subjects. Two such paintings are in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The subject of the Moscow painting is based on the biblical story of Nab. 10:10-13, in which Joshua stopped the sun over Havana and the moon over the valley of Avalon. This is why both luminaries are shown on the canvas, and the lighting is made extremely contrasting. "Battles" was so different from Poussin's other Roman works that theories have been advanced that he executed them while still in France. Indeed, some of the poses and figures are executed very similar to some of the Windsor drawings. The overcrowding of the foreground with figures is also not characteristic of the artist's later work.

The works demonstrate excellent knowledge of Raphael's works on the same subject, and Poussin even reproduced the circular shape of the shields. Yuri Zolotov noted that "Battles" are also characterized by the supremacy of the decorative principle. Figures on the canvas as if displayed on the plane by silhouettes, creating a bizarre pattern. The compositional unity is defined by the same color of the nude figures of soldiers, which to a certain extent is close to the Fontainebleau school. However, this could also be the influence of Rosso Fiorentino, a Tuscan painter who worked at Fontainebleau. There is also the theory that Poussin was deeply impressed by the sarcophagus of Ludovisi, discovered in 1621, which some parallels seem to testify to. This allowed the artist to give the figures expressive power. In the Hermitage painting, the group of three warriors in the foreground on the left embodies energy and determination, matched by the naked warrior with a sword and the figures moving from the center to the right on the Moscow canvas. Poussin spared no effort in portraying the variety of facial expressions, which allowed him to convey a state of affect, but the mood is mainly created by variations in posture and movement. At the same time the enthusiasm of the soldiers is not associated with external religious impulse, and their courage is alien to the exaltation. None of Poussin's predecessors, neither in France nor in Italy, offered such a figurative solution. At the same time, the bas-relief beginning is strong in Battles, which seems to be no accident: Poussin was attracted by the opportunity to demonstrate his anatomical knowledge. However, putting the entire composition in the foreground made it impossible to use a central perspective.

In 1626 Cardinal Francesco Barberini's account books first recorded Poussin's name in connection with the receipt of royalties for the painting The Destruction of Jerusalem. It has not survived, but in 1638 the master repeated the canvas, now preserved in Vienna. January 23, 1628 is the first surviving receipt of the Poussin himself for "a picture with different figures. It is possible that this is one of the "Bacchanalia" in which the artist perfected himself. In the surviving works adjacent to Battles, Poussin's compositions are just as devoid of depth, and their foreground is overloaded with figures. The development of the master is evident: several Bacchanalia show subtle color solutions - a clear influence of the Venetian school.

The first important commission of this period was the Martyrdom of St. Erasmus for St. Peter's Cathedral, the main temple of the Catholic Church. The navigator Erasmus suffered for his faith around 313: according to his hagiography, his tormentors coiled his entrails on a winch to force him to renounce his faith. In this multi-figure composition Poussin seems to have drawn his inspiration from the works of Flemish masters, Segers or even Rubens. The figures are all in a tight group that occupies almost the entire composition of the canvas. The figures in the foreground are juxtaposed with the antique warrior statue and interpreted in the same way. Apparently, this must mean that the naked Jupiter in a wreath (but with a club on his shoulder) and the torturers are pagans and barbarians. There is a strong sculptural element in this painting, with, according to S. Koroleva, some elements of Caravaggio and Baroque are undoubted. The first is indicated by the active use of light and shade, the second - the figures of angels with wreaths in the upper part of the canvas. A mosaic version of Poussin's painting survives in St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome and is located in the altar of the Cathedral Chapel of the Holy Mysteries with the reliquary of the saint. The painting was favorably received not only by the customers, but also by ordinary Romans. Bellori was the first to notice that the French artist offered a completely new color solution to the Roman school - the event is presented in an open place, and the light brightly illuminates the body of the saint and the priest in white vestment, leaving the rest in shadow. Yuri Zolotov argued that the Caravagists had no such palette, and that the convincing recreation of the light and air environment was the result of plein air work.

The altarpiece was signed: "Lat.  Nicolaus Pusin fecit". In terms of the importance of such an order (Poussin was credited with it by Cardinal Barberini) in the system of representations of the time was analogous to a personal exhibition in the twentieth century.

"The Death of Germanicus."

The plot of The Death of Germanicus is based on the second book of Tacitus' Annals: the glorious general fell in Syria from the poison of the envious emperor Tiberius. Poussin chose for the plot the moment when the friends swear to their chief not to take revenge, but to live by justice. This picture marks a turning point in the work of Poussin, in further the ancient theme was invariably served by him in the moral dimension. The solution to the plot was entirely the author's, antique attributes are presented here a little. The radiograph of the painting shows that at first Poussin wanted to raise the figures to the podium of the columned temple, but then abandoned the idea. The original graphic sketch with this solution has been preserved in Berlin. The final center of the composition is Germanicus himself, to whom all the other figures, their gestures and movements are directed (at the headboard - the wife and children, on the left - the soldiers). The action is once more in the foreground, separated from the inner space by a blue curtain. The figures are placed freely, and the spaces between them are rhythmically expressive. The canopy is echoed by the rigor of the architectural background, but it is indicative that Poussin did not fully cope with the perspective structure: the right wall is as if turned (in accordance with Yury Zolotov) to the plane, and the capital capitals of pilasters are placed inconsistent with the castle stone of the arch. The introduction of the canopy probably meant that the artist understood the needlessness of recreating the palace space. There is also a version that the rhythmic construction of the composition was strongly influenced by the so-called "Sarcophagus of Meleager", which Poussin could see in the Roman Capitol.

The classical school of that time actively developed the theory of affects, and Guido Reni was a particularly profound apologist for it. Poussin took an entirely different path in this context - using the language of body movements to reveal mental impulses. The experience is conveyed by poses, no facial expressions are necessary, and the faces of many of the characters in the first row are covered. The gestures of the warriors (one holds back a cry) create an overall atmosphere of stern grief. For the eighteenth century, the painting was the standard work of classicism and was carefully studied and copied. The colors were put in a dense layer, the texture of the canvas did not participate in the expressiveness of the relief. The color scheme is rich, but restrained, defined by warm golden tones. Poussin used an expression of light highlights as well as zonal color spots - reds, blues and oranges - in the figures of the foreground. In these accents the inner feelings of the characters are expressed. "Death of Germanicus" demonstrated Poussin's unusually intense evolution as an artist and master. The popularity of the painting was evidenced by the fact that it was engraved on wood by Guillaume Chastot: woodcuts printed from different boards made it possible to convey the color nuances of the original in a black and white image.

Poussin in the 1630s

The year 1630 was marked for Poussin by serious changes both in his artistic and personal life. After his first successes in altarpiece painting, he was unable to obtain a commission to paint the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi. The Congregation of the Church and a commission headed by Domenichino and d'Arpino favored the Lorraine Charles Mellin, a pupil of Vue, who apparently had also studied under Poussin. After this, the French artist has decisively renounced monumental genre and completely turned to the so-called "cabinet painting", designed for private customers. Earlier, around 1629 the artist became seriously ill, he was nursed by the family of the confectioner-French Charles Duguet, recovering, he became engaged to his eldest daughter - Anne-Marie. The wedding took place on September 1, 1630 in the church of San Lorenzo in Lucina. Married, Poussin stayed in the same house on rue de Paolina, which he had occupied since the middle of the 1620s. Together with the Poussens lived Ann-Marie Poussin's brother Gaspard Duguet, the future famous landscape painter, and from 1636 - and his younger brother Jean. Poussin was the first teacher of Gaspard Duguet, who then took his surname. Despite the vanishingly little evidence, we can conclude that Poussin's marriage was successful, though childless.

Judging by the documents of the 1631 trial related to one of the buyers of Poussin's paintings, by that time the artist had painted his recognized masterpieces, in which his mature style fully manifested itself. Documents also show that Poussin was earning well: he received a fee of 400 scudi for The Martyrdom of St. Erasmus, 60 for The Death of Germanicus, 100 for The Kingdom of Flora and 110 scudi for The Plague in Azote (Pietro da Cortona received 200 scudi for The Abduction of the Sabine Women). His paintings became valued and many wished they had at least a repeat. The painting of copies of Poussin's paintings was done by a certain Caroselli. In 1632 Poussin was elected a member of the Academy of St. Luke. Even earlier, in 1630, thanks to his senior patrons and protectors - Cassiano dal Pozzo and Giulio Rospillosi - Poussin found a powerful patron in the person of Cardinal Camillo Massimo. A dedicatory inscription on a graphic self-portrait, presented to the patron after his personal visit to the artist's studio after a serious illness, has been preserved. They collaborated with the cardinal until the artist's departure for Paris in 1640.

"The Plague of Azot" was one of Poussin's notable successes of the time: a copy was taken of the painting in Rome, and Bellori included its description in his biography of the artist. The subject was again from the Old Testament (1 Samuel 5:1-6): the Philistines, having seized the Ark of the Covenant, placed it in their capital in the temple of Dagon, for which the Lord God inflicted a plague on them. The idol was thus miraculously smashed to pieces. This is precisely the moment the artist depicted. A priest in white robes points to the wreckage of a false god, while the living hurry to remove the dead. It has been suggested that Poussin based his impressions and descriptions on the plague epidemic in Milan in 1630.

"The Plague..." was in many ways groundbreaking for Poussin. Although Bellori noted the influence on Poussin of Marcantonio Raimondi's The Plague of Phrygia, to which both the deep composition with the staircase and the gestures of despair of the characters depicted go back, the motif of this treatment requires explanation. The novelty of The Plague at Azot was that the artist for the first time included in a single canvas a multitude of major and minor episodes, freely inscribed in a single space. At that time Poussin was fond of in-depth constructions, so the street that goes to the obelisk, although not grounded in the plot, is worked out with extreme care. The space is opened in three directions, forming a kind of transept of the basilica with the Ark inserted into one of the naves, and the staircase and the figure in blue accentuate the spatial moment. Yuri Zolotov noted that the very moment of the miracle is relegated to the background for the modern viewer. From his point of view, the main motif of the painting is not in the demonstration of the wrath of God, but in the fact that people, even when feeling disgust at death and dying, do not flee, but are driven by humanity and compassion. The motif of saving a child is repeated three times on the canvas. The independence of Poussin's artistic position lay in the fact that he turned the illustration of a fanatical idea into a triumph of true humanism.

"The Kingdom of Flora" was referred to by the author himself as the "Garden" of the goddess; Bellori called the painting "The Transformation of Flowers. The scene itself is framed by a pergola, a typical garden attribute of the time. The characters include Narcissus, Clitia, Ajax, Adonis, Hyacinth, and Flora herself, dancing with cupids. The enumeration of Bellori's characters is incomplete: thus, Smilaka and Crocus, the lovers, are represented in the foreground. The plot is again based on Ovid's Metamorphoses: the heroes, dying, turn into flowers. Smilaca is represented with a creeper and Clitia with a heliotrope. Poussin has created a mystery for researchers, as a pale pink carnation sprouted from the blood of Ajax, which does not correspond to the original. At the fountain is a herma of Priapa, referring to Ovid's Fasts, where, in fact, the garden of Flora is described. The motif of contemplation predominates in this painting. Because the leading element of Poussin's style has always been composition, Y. Zolotov noted that in "The Kingdom of Flora" many changes compared to the Roman works of the previous decade. Characters are arranged in many plans, and the key to the spatial orientation is a complex turn Clytia, considering the chariot of Apollo in the clouds. The composition is like a stage, bounded by the herme of Priapus and the arch of the pergola. The composition is rigorous, symmetrical and rhythmically balanced. Poussin shows here his deepest conviction that a work of art is inconceivable without a correct relationship between the parts. The compositional system has two levels: on the one hand, the figures and groups are balanced around the center on different axes; on the other hand, the motif of the painting is motion, and the characters are decentralized, moving away from the center along several axes. The mastering of the spatial environment is expressed in a light color scheme, all plans are permeated with light, which contradicted both the early work of Poussin himself and the cultural fashions of his time.

One of the most enigmatic paintings for Poussin's descendants and researchers was The Arcadian Shepherds, commissioned by Cardinal Giulio Rospillosi, future nuncio to Spain and pope. This painting exists in two versions, with Bellori's biography describing the second, now in the Louvre. The subject is set in the region of Greece, washed by the river Alphaeus and called Arcadia, a name which since Roman times has become a common name for a region of serenity and contemplative life. In the painting, two shepherds and a shepherdess discover in the forest floor an abandoned tomb with a skull, lying on it, staring at the heroes with its empty eyes. The bearded shepherd points to the inscription on the tomb, "Et in Arcadia ego," his young companion is distraught, and the shepherdess, a mature woman, is pensive and serious. As early as 1620, Gvercino executed a painting on the same subject, but, according to Y. Zolotov, the French artist decided this subject much more profoundly. Bellori referred to the composition as "Happiness Subject to Death" and classified the subject as "moral poetry"; it is possible that such interpretations came from Poussin himself. The Latin title - literally, "And in Arcadia I" - allows for multiple interpretations. If "I" is understood to mean the deceased, the main meaning of the painting is transferred to the confessional plane, and it recalls eternal happiness in the kingdom of heaven. Bellori argued, however, that the "I" combined with the skull signifies Death, which reigns everywhere, even in blessed Arcadia. If this version is true, then Poussin radically broke with the interpretation of the Arcadian theme inherited from both Antiquity and the Renaissance. According to ancient legend, people in Arcadia never died, but in Poussin the inhabitants of the earthly paradise are for the first time aware of their mortality.

Without being a landscape, the painting is imbued with the image of nature, embodying the idea of natural existence. According to Y. Zolotov, the relaxedness and freedom of expression of the characters' feelings in the natural environment hint to the viewer about the dignity of man and his thoughts before death, his opposition to it and inevitable elevation. Death is shown as something alien to man, which allows commentators to draw analogies with Epicureanism, in the doctrine of which death does not exist for man alive. Poussin's images had an enormous influence on the aesthetics of Romanticism, the fascination with sarcophagi in landscape design in the first half of the 19th century, and contributed to the popularity of the phrase "Et in Arcadia ego" promoted by Schiller and Goethe. Poussin's contemporaries were also aware that this painting was executed in a genre popular in the 17th century, which glorified the frailty of human life, but unlike the Flemish (Rubens) and Spanish (Valdes Leal), the French master tried to avoid the straightforward, repulsive and sinister hallmarks of the genre. Yuri Zolotov, summarizing his analysis of the painting, wrote:

The essence of such art is not the imitation of classics, it becomes classics itself.

The 1630s in Poussin's legacy were extremely fruitful, but insufficiently documented: the surviving corpus of the master's correspondence begins in 1639. The flowering of his creativity coincided with the complete rejection of church orders, as well as the spread in France of the aesthetics of classicism and the rationalist philosophy of Descartes. The artist managed to create around himself a circle of patrons, but he sought the maximum possible independence in these conditions, taking orders from a circle of connoisseurs, but not binding himself with a permanent commitment to any of them. The most important of Poussin's patrons was Cassiano dal Pozzo, their relationship, judging by the extant correspondence, was close to an easement, although the artist did not live in the house of the patron. Motives of continued patronage, assurances of affection and even ritualistic self-deprecation are frequent in the correspondence. In general, the situation of the clients was different: for example, in 1637 the painter Pietro Testa, who also executed Dal Pozzo's orders, overdue drawings from ancient monuments, after which the nobleman imprisoned him in a tower. A letter from Testa asking Poussin for help has survived, which also shows the status of the French artist. An important part of Dal Pozzo's relationship with Poussin was the opportunity for the artist to use the "Cartographic Museum," a collection of documents, monuments and testimonies that illuminated all aspects of life, everyday life, culture and politics in ancient Rome. Bellori argued that Poussin himself acknowledged that he was a "student" of Dal Pozzo and the museum, and even performed sketches of ancient monuments for the collection. A priapic idol found at Porta Pia stood out among them. There were about fifty paintings by Poussin in the Dal Pozzo collection. Of French acquaintances, Poussin kept in touch with Lorrain and J. Stella; there is speculation that Poussin may have met Gabriel Nodet and Pierre Bourdelot during their trips to Italy in the 1630s, and then deepened relations in Paris. Apparently in 1634-1637 Poussin took part in a debate on the Baroque at the Accademia di St. Luca (its rector was Pietro da Cortona) and was probably one of the leaders of the anti-Baroque movement in Rome, which included the Bologna academicians.

Immediately after the passage about the patronage of Dal Pozzo in Bellori's biography there is a description of the cycle "The Seven Sacraments". Opinions about the time of the beginning of work on this cycle differ, in any case, the writing was already underway in the mid-1630s. Six of the paintings were commissioned by Dal Pozzo Poussin performed in Rome, and the seventh - Baptism - was taken to Paris and sent to the customer only in 1642. Then, in 1647, he performed the second series based on the first. The subjects of the Seven Sacraments belong to the most conservative part of Catholic iconography. Bellori described all the paintings in great detail, pointing out in particular that his contemporaries were already aware of the originality of the interpretation of the canonical subject. Communication with Dal Pozzo was not in vain: in developing the subject, Poussin sought to find the historical roots of each of the sacraments, working as a scholar; he may well have been assisted by Roman humanists. In Communion the characters are presented in ancient Roman garments, as in Baptism. "Communion is treated as a depiction of the Last Supper, and Poussin arranged the apostles on the beds, as was the custom at the time. The episode of the presentation of the keys to the Apostle Peter was chosen for the Ordination, and the sacrament of marriage was the betrothal of Joseph and Mary. In other words, Poussin sought to vividly trace the origins of the sacraments back to gospel events or, if this was not possible, to the practice of early Christians. At a time when Protestants and humanists were relentlessly attacking the Catholic Church for its tendency toward corruption, an appeal to the origins of Christianity also expressed a worldview position. Michael Santo, curator of the exhibition "Poussin and God" (Louvre, 2015), noted that Poussin in the image of Christ in the evening presented not only the Church, which Christians understand as His body, but also a man - the first priest and martyr, the Savior of all humanity. M. Santo has suggested that Poussin took advantage of the Byzantine tradition, presenting not so much the assembly of the apostles as the first liturgy celebrated by the God-man Himself. Poussin placed Christ and the apostles in a dark room, lit by a single lamp, symbolizing the Sun, and the main character of the painting was the Light of the Eternal Sun. Poussin seems to have demonstrated that the glory of Christ would enlighten all mankind.

For his educated customers in the 1630s Poussin executed a significant number of paintings on ancient mythological and literary themes, such as Narcissus and Echo (and a cycle of paintings based on Torquatto Tasso's poem Liberated Jerusalem: Armida and Rinaldo ("Tankred and Herminia" (State Hermitage, St. Petersburg). The dating of all these paintings and their repetitions is extremely different. The plot of the painting "Armida and Rinaldo" is taken from the 14th song of Tasso's poem: Armida finds Rinaldo asleep on the bank of the Orontes. Although she originally plotted to kill the knight, the sorceress is seized by passion. It is noteworthy that all the details (including the marble column) correspond to the text of the poem.

According to T. Kaptereva, the painting "Poet's Inspiration" (painted between 1635-1638) is an example of how an abstract idea was realized by Poussin in deep, emotionally powerful images. As often happens in studies of Poussin's work, its subject is complex and borders on allegory: the poet is crowned with a wreath in the presence of Apollo and the muse. According to Yuri Zolotov, this subject was extremely rare in 17th century painting, but Poussin obviously valued it, having performed two versions of the painting, the similar plot canvas Parnassus and a number of sketches. Already in Paris, he performed frontispieces to the works of Virgil and Horace on a similar motif. In the picture from Louvre the subject is very solemn, which is easy to explain: Putto holds in his hands the Odyssey and at his feet lie the Aeneid and the Iliad; the muse, therefore, is Calliope. Apollo gives the poet a pointing gesture, while the poet himself defiantly raises his eyes to the mountain and puts his pen over his notebook. The landscape in the background is more of a background than an environment. In the antique imagery system that Poussin creatively embraced, the imagery of Inspiration can be perceived as dithyrambic. Apollo, if imagined to have risen, would have looked like a giant against the background of the poet and the muse, but Poussin used the ancient principle of isocephaly, which he had studied from ancient reliefs. When Bernini saw this painting (in France in 1665), it reminded him of the colorism and compositions of Titian. The color scheme of "Inspiration" in general is closest to "Triumph of Flora", especially by the effect of golden highlights. The main colors - yellow, red and blue - form a kind of coloristic chord which communicates the solemnity of the intonation. The composition again demonstrates Poussin's rhythmic solutions, since in his system rhythm was one of the most important expressive means, revealing both the nature of the action and the behavior of the characters.

Negotiating and moving to Paris

According to A. Felibien, Poussin sent quite a few paintings to Paris in the second half of the 1630s, and Jacques Stella was the recipient. Since Stella was a sculptor, it seems that he was only an intermediary between Parisian customers and buyers. Poussin's letter of April 28, 1639, for the first time names his future regular customer and correspondent, Paul Fréard de Chanteloup, according to Felibien, in the same year Cardinal Richelieu also ordered several paintings on the theme of bacchanalia. In the works sent to Paris the external effect was expressed much more strongly than in the works for the Roman customers. According to Y. Zolotov, Poussin, reaching recognition late, in addition, outside his homeland, was no stranger to ambition and sought to force success at the royal court. In the documents Richelieu, Poussin's name first appeared in 1638, and he entrusted him to work with it Chantel - a nephew of the newly appointed Surgeon of royal buildings Francois Sueble de Noyer. The Cardinal's message to Poussin has not survived, but in a fragment of his reply letter Poussin set out his terms: 1000 ecus annual salary, the same amount to move to Paris, piece fee for each completed work, the provision of a "suitable accommodation", a guarantee that the artist will not be involved in the painting of murals and vaults, a contract for 5 years. January 14, 1639 Sueble de Nooille guaranteed acceptance of these conditions, but put forward a counter: Poussin will only perform the royal orders and other will be held only through the intermediary surintendent and provided with his visa. The next day, a personal royal letter was sent to Poussin, which did not mention any conditions, granting the artist only the title of Ordinary Painter, and stating vaguely about his duties that he should "contribute to the decoration of the royal residences". Poussin, who had not yet received these letters, wrote to Chantel about his doubts, mentioning among other things his chronic bladder disease. In an effort to find out the real state of affairs, Poussin procrastinated, even after he received a bill of exchange for travel expenses in April 1639. Friends he wrote frankly that it seems to have committed recklessness. December 15, 1639 Poussin even asked Sueble de Noyer to release him from this promise, which caused much irritation surintendent. The correspondence was interrupted until May 8, 1640, when Chanteloup was sent to Rome to bring Poussin to Paris. The contract was reduced to three years, but Cardinal Mazarini was brought in to influence Cassiano dal Pozzo. After outright threats that followed in August, Poussin left Rome on October 28, 1640, accompanied by Chanteloux and his brother. He also took his brother-in-law Jean Duguet with him, but left his wife in the Eternal City in the care of Dal Pozzo. On December 17, everyone arrived safely in Paris.

Work in Paris

Poussin was initially favored by the powers that be. The reception he received, he described in a letter dated January 6, 1641, the addressee was Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo. Poussin was lodged in a house in the Tuileries gardens, he was welcomed by the Surintendent, was then granted an audience by Cardinal Richelieu and was finally taken to the king. Louis XIII said frankly during their meeting that Poussin would compete with the Vouet (literally he said: Voilà, Vouet est bien attrapé, "Well, now the Vouet is caught"), which again aroused the artist's fears. On 20 March, however, a contract was signed granting Poussin a salary of 1,000 ecus, the title of First Painter to the King and an appointment to supervise the painting works in the newly built royal buildings. This command immediately damaged Poussin's relations with S. Vouet, Jacques Fouquière and Jacques Lemercier, who before him were to decorate the Grand Gallery of the Louvre. From the point of view of Joseph Forte, Poussin, as a figure of advantage to the royal court in Rome who provided national prestige, did not fit in at all with the environment of officious court art cultivated by Richelieu. The conflict between Vouet and Poussin was also a conflict between the officious baroque, which symbolized the power of absolute monarchy, and the chamber intellectual style demanded among the "Republic of Scholars", whose informal circles and cultural interests went back to the Renaissance. It is noteworthy that the Roman milieu in which both Poussin and Vouet were formed was the same - the circle of the Barberini family; the same were the customers - the French colony and officials, such as envoys. Poussin's circle, however, was different - a more "esoteric" cultural milieu, the heirs of the classical humanists. Compared with Vouet, Poussin, using more well-known and generally accepted subjects, developed a unique conceptual approach to painting.

The first serious commission from Süble de Noailles was The Miracle of St. Francis Xavier for the novitiate of the Jesuit college. The composition of this giant canvas is vertical and distinctly divided into two sections: at the bottom, on the ground, one of the co-founders of the Jesuit order, Francis Xavier, prays for the resurrection of the daughter of a resident of Cagoshima, where he preached the Gospel. Above - in heaven - Christ performs the miracle at the saint's prayer. Poussin approached the work as a true innovator, constructing the depiction of the miracle dialectically. The lower level was executed according to the Renaissance theory of affect, while the upper level was painted according to the canons of the historical rather than the religious genre. Vouet and his followers were particularly harshly critical of the figure of Christ, which was more in keeping with Jupiter the thunderer than with the Savior of mankind. Poussin used the Doric modus and completely ignored the oriental exoticism associated with the site of the miracle - in distant and almost unknown Japan. For Poussin, this would have distracted the viewer from the main theme of the painting. Felibien wrote that Poussin was not without irritation when he said that French artists did not understand the significance of the context to which decorative details and other things should be subordinated. The baroque decoration used for the Roman productions of Racine and Corneille, as well as in the painting of the Vouée, was totally unacceptable to Poussin. The image of Christ, which contemporaries considered almost pagan, was in fact an attempt to solve in classical forms the traditional (Byzantine, not Catholic) image of Christ Pantocrator and directly continued Poussin's conceptual experiments begun in The Death of Germanicus.

The royal commissions themselves were extremely uncertain. In 1641, Poussin had to take on sketches for frontispieces of an edition of Horace and Virgil, as well as the Bible, being prepared in the Royal Printing House. They were engraved by Claude Mellan. According to C. Clarke, the composition of Apollo crowning Virgil, prescribed by the customer, was initially such that even Poussin's talent as a painter "could not make this body type interesting". Naturally, this work provoked attacks. Judging from the correspondence, the artist attached great importance to drawings for the Bible; for researchers of his work, the case of the frontispiece of the Bible is also unique in that there is both Bellori's interpretation and Poussin's own judgment. It follows from the juxtaposition that Bellory's description is inaccurate. Poussin depicted God, the forefather and First Mover of good works, shadowing two figures: on the left, the winged Story, and on the right, the covered diviner with a small Egyptian sphinx in his hands. The sphinx represents "the obscurity of things mysterious." Bellory referred to History as an angel, although he specified that he was looking backward, that is, into the past; he referred to the draped figure as Religion.

Poussin's main Parisian customer eventually turned out to be Cardinal Richelieu. The artist was commissioned two paintings for his ceremonial office, including the allegory "Time Saving Truth from the Encroachments of Envy and Discord. The annoying factor was that the painting was intended for the ceiling, which required very complicated perspective calculations for figures seen at a distance from a difficult angle. At the same time, he did not distort the proportions of the main heroic figures in order to maintain perspective, although he otherwise coped with the complex architectural aperture in the form of a four-fingered leaf. From the point of view of I. E. Pruss, in the Paris works of Poussin "painfully overcame his own aspirations," and this led to an apparent creative failures.

Return to Rome

The main project that greatly complicated Poussin's artistic and private life was the rebuilding and decoration of the Grand Gallery of the Louvre Palace. The Grand Gallery was more than 400 meters long and had 92 windows, and the piers between them were to be painted with views of cities in France. Conflicting customer requests (to the point that in Rome they ordered casts of the Column of Trajan and the Arch of Constantine to be placed under the vaults) and the monumental nature of the genre did not fit in with the developed method of the artist, who personally went through all stages of painting and demanded unhurriedness and thoughtfulness from the customer. The correspondence shows that in the spring and summer of 1641 the artist worked on cardboards for wall paintings and made arrangements with decorators, including woodcarvers. In August, the superintendent engaged Poussin to decorate his own house, and Fouquières demanded the exercise of his own powers in the Louvre. Poussin's letters to Dal Pozzo in Rome are full of complaints about all this. For the winter, work had to stop and on April 4, 1642 Poussin sent Dal Pozzo a letter full of despairing pessimism:

...The yielding I have shown to these gentlemen is the reason why I have no time for my own satisfaction, nor for the service of my patron or friend. For I am continually hindered by such trifles as drawings for frontispieces for books, or drawings for decorating cabinets, mantels, bookbindings, and other nonsense. They say that I can rest on these things in order to pay me with mere words, for these works, which require long and hard work, are not compensated to me in any way. <...> It gives the impression that they don't know what to use me for and have invited me in without a definite purpose. It seems to me that seeing that I don't move my wife here, they imagine that by giving me a better opportunity to earn money, they also give me an even better opportunity to return quickly.

The tone of Poussin's subsequent April 1642 letters grew sharper. The letters to Gabriel Nodet and to the subletting court intrigues of the time, which led to Poussin's secondary exodus from France, are fully revealed. At the end of July 1642, a decisive conversation with Sublet took place: Poussin was ordered to go to Fontainebleau to investigate whether a painting by Primatuccio could be restored. In a letter of 8 August, addressed to Cassiano dal Pozzo, Poussin did not hide his joy: he asked permission to return to Rome to take his wife, and was released "until next spring. Judging from the letters, he left Paris on September 21, 1642 by mail carriage to Lyon and, as reported by Felibien, arrived in Rome on November 5. In a letter from Nodet to Dal Pozzo mentioned some obstacles from Chantelou, because of which Poussin did not even take anything with him except a travel bag, and did not take to transfer to the Roman friends neither books nor works of art. Y. Zolotov noted that the circumstances of Poussin's departure are very reminiscent of flight, but no details in the extant sources were not reported. It has also been suggested that Poussin's hasty departure was due to the absence of the king and the entire court in Paris - Louis XIII was traveling to Languedoc. Poussin's mood was evidenced by a letter from J. Stelle to the Surgeon General of Sueble: having met in Lyon, the king's first painter sharply declared that he would not return to Paris under any circumstances.

Todd Olson's dissertation (University of Michigan, 1994) argued that Poussin's failures in Paris and his conflict with the Vouet circle were political rather than aesthetic in nature. Sublé was directly involved with the Fronde, and Poussin was also in contact with the libertine circle (including Nodet and Gassendi) in Paris. The inability of Richelieu, and later of Mazarini, to attract the most famous French artist to state projects led Poussin to return to the familiar chamber genre and the circle of humanist culture. At the same time, Poussin never explicitly demonstrated his political sympathies or antipathies. The subjects of Poussin's paintings on the themes of ancient myths and examples of high citizenship of ancient Greece and Rome were perceived as political attacks against the Regency regime. Moreover, Poussin's humanistically educated clientele actively used antique motifs and interests in the real political struggle. Poussin's allegories were addressed directly to the authorities as benchmarks of proper behavior and just government, and their symbolic perception sometimes had nothing to do with the author's own intention.

After returning

From November 1642 Poussin again settled in rue de Paolin, which he never left again. The circumstances of his life after his return from France are unknown and for what reason, not yet having reached the age of 50, he drew up a will (April 30, 1643). He bequeathed a huge sum of 2,000 scudi to the heir to the Dal Pozzo family, Ferdinando. The secretary and brother of his wife, Jean Duguet, received half as much. Apparently, this was an expression of gratitude to his patron's family, which had custody of the family and property and apparently had something to do with the artist's return to Italy. The resignation of Sueble de Noyer and the death of King Louis XIII caused a very typical reaction of Poussin: he did not hide his joy. However, Poussin's house in the Tuileries was taken away from him on account of the contractual penalty. However, this did not mean a break with his court and homeland: Poussin continued to execute sketches for the Louvre under contract, and through Chanteloux he sought customers in Paris. Chanteloux himself commissioned in 1643 a series of copies of the Farnese collection, which was executed by a whole brigade of young French and Italian artists under Poussin. From the end of 1642 to 1645 Charles Lebrun, the future head of the Academy of Painting, lived in Rome and also actively sought apprenticeship and advice from Poussin, particularly finding it difficult to copy works of antique art. The relationship between them did not work out: Poussin advised his pupil Vouet to return to Paris, and he was also not allowed into the Palazzo Farnese, where his own countrymen were working. Poussin's situation in Rome in the 1640s was far from ideal: apparently, the Roman customers have forgotten about it, even the family Dal Pozzo irregularly gave orders and the main source of income for Poussin were commissions from Chantelu, and not only to purchase works of art, but even fashionable items, incense and gloves. The list of customers in 1644 includes mostly French clergymen and provincial bankers, with the exception of the Parisian philanthropist Jacques Auguste de Tu. The French ambassador to Rome that year demanded in rather crude terms that Poussin be returned to Paris. After the death of Pope Urban VIII in 1645, the Barberini and Dal Pozzo families lost influence in Rome, and the main source of income for Poussin remained orders from compatriots. These included Nicola Fouquet, Cardinal Mazarini, the writer Paul Scarron, and Parisian and Lyon bankers. In contrast, Pope Innocent X was not particularly interested in art and preferred Spanish artists. Poussin's uncertain position lasted until 1655.

In contrast to the clearly precarious political and financial situation of the artist his fame and prestige. It was in the 1640s in France that Poussin began to be called "the Raphael of our century," which he resisted. His brother-in-law Jacques Duguet began to order engravings of Poussin's works to make money and for promotional purposes, and from 1650 they began to be sold in Paris as well. For André Felibien, who came to Rome in 1647 as secretary of the French embassy, Poussin was already the greatest authority in the world of art, and he began to record his judgments. However, their communication was not close and was limited to only three visits. Fréard de Chambres in 1650 published a treatise "Parallels between ancient and modern architecture," which literally exalted Poussin. He also, in publishing the treatises of Leonardo da Vinci in 1651, illustrated them with engravings by Poussin. Hilaire Pader in 1654 dedicated a panegyric to Poussin in the poem "Talking Painting," and in the same year Poussin was among those 14 academicians of St. Luke's from among whom the head of the Academy was chosen.

According to Bellori's description, Poussin led an almost ascetic life in Rome. He would rise at dawn and devote an hour or two to plein air lessons, most often on the Pincio near his own house, which overlooked the entire city. As a rule, friendly visits were tied to the morning hours. After working outdoors, Poussin painted in oil until noon; after his lunch break, work continued in the studio. In the evening he also took walks in the picturesque parts of Rome, where he could mingle with visitors. Bellori also noted that Poussin was a very well-read man, and his impromptu musings on art were perceived as the fruit of long reflection. Poussin could read in Latin (including works on philosophy and the liberal arts) but did not speak it, but, according to Bellori, he spoke Italian "as if he had been born in Italy.

The Work of the Second Roman Period

The popular opinion about the decline of Poussin's work after his return to Rome, according to Y. Zolotov, does not stand up to criticism, it was in 1642-1664 years were created many of his famous works and entire cycles. In the 1640s the genre ratio in Poussin's painting changed considerably. Epicurean motifs almost disappeared from the subjects of his paintings, the choice of antique subjects was dictated by his interest in tragedy, the influence of Fate on the fate of people. Among the usual symbolic details for Poussin in many paintings appears a snake - the personification of evil, striking a sudden blow.

In the 1640s Poussin began to take noticeably more church commissions, which could be related to his ideological quest (about which nothing is known) as well as to the specific situation on the art market. In the religious painting of Poussin after his return to Rome there is a noticeable manifestation of the theme of humanity. According to Yu. Zolotov, this is noticeable when contemplating the painting Moses Draining Water from the Rock, a late version of which in 1649 was described by Bellory (from an engraving) and is now kept in the Hermitage. Bellori considered the main virtue of this painting to be "reflection on natural actions (Italian azione). Indeed, the subject of the painting is quite multidimensional. The main motif is thirst, expressed in a particular group of figures: a mother whose face is distorted by suffering hands over a jug for her child, while a weary warrior dutifully waits his turn. Also prominent are the grateful elders, clinging to the water. All the details create a sense of profound drama, which is probably what Bellori had in mind.

On orders from Chanteloup after 1643 Poussin created several paintings depicting the ecstasies of the saints and the ascension of the apostles and the Virgin Mary. The first was The Ascension of the Holy Apostle Paul, a second version of the same subject on enlarged canvas was painted in 1649-1650 for the Louvre. It was based on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 12:2), but it was not typical of Poussin, but had many parallels in the Baroque art, whose temple architecture was based on the motif of a passage into another, higher reality, which allowed to achieve numerous effects. The Ascension of the Virgin Mary of 1650 was executed in a similar way. These subjects were very popular in Catholic historiography during the Counter-Reformation, but Poussin turned to them very rarely. Even during the conflicts surrounding the Grand Gallery of the Louvre, Poussin stated categorically that he was unaccustomed to seeing human figures in the air. If we compare Poussin's ascensions with similar subjects by Bernini, the French artist has no obvious irrationality, no otherworldly impulse that rushes the saint into the upper world. The forces of ascent and earthly gravity are balanced, and the group hovering in the air geometrically seems perfectly stable. In the Louvre version of Paul's ascension, the stability motif is shown by the power of the stonework and its volumes hidden by the clouds, while the angels are quite athletic. Laconic and clear is the expressive still life of a book and a sword whose outlines are strictly parallel to the plane of the canvas and the edges of the stone pillars. These solutions, described in a letter of 1642 to Sueble de Noyer, Y. Zolotov proposed to call Poussin's "constructivism". Poussin's pictorial works were undoubtedly built according to the laws of tectonics and to some extent obeyed the laws of architecture. Constructivism made it possible to give any construction a painterly quality, regardless of whether it had iconographic prerequisites or not.

The largest work of the 1640s for Poussin was the second series of the Seven Sacraments, commissioned by the same Chanteloup. It is well documented in correspondence, and therefore the plot features and dates of creation of each painting are very well known. "The Soboranization" was begun in 1644, and "The Marriage" was completed in March 1648, on which the series was completed as well. Chanteloux left everything to Poussin's discretion, including the arrangement and size of the figures, which caused the artist true joy. Poussin was proud of the fact that, compared to the first series, he solved "Penance" in a very original way, in particular describing the original sigmoid triclinium. For his archaeological research, Poussin turned to A. Bosio's treatise The Underground Rome (1632). Poussin's sketch of a painting from the Catacombs of St. Peter and St. Marcellus is preserved in the Hermitage collection. Peter and Marcellus, where five characters are seated at the arch-shaped table, the picture is signed "the meal of the first Christians. These details, however, were not included in the final version. Compared with earlier versions, Poussin increased the format of the paintings and enlarged them horizontally (the length-to-width ratio was 6:4 compared with 5:4 of the first series), which allowed the compositions to be more monumental. The fact that Poussin resolved Catholic sacraments not in the ritualism of the 17th century, but in Roman daily life, underscores the artist's desire to find positive moral ideals and heroism in the Antiquity.

The reasons why Poussin turned to the landscape genre between 1648 and 1651 are unknown; however, the quantity and quality of the works executed is such that the term "landscape explosion" is used. Equally, as Y. Zolotov has argued, this fact does not allow us to construct a periodization, since Poussin turned to this genre when he felt the need for it. The only biographer who dated the landscapes was Felibien, and archival finds of the second half of the 20th century confirmed his reliability: Poussin turned to landscapes in the 1630s, and the author of his biography attributed them to the same period. According to K. Bohemian, in the French painting of the XVII century there was a genre of "ideal landscape", which represented the aesthetic and ethically valuable image of existence and man in their harmony. Poussin embodied this genre as epic, and Lorrain as idyllic. Yuri Zolotov, without denying the use of such terminology, argued that Poussin's landscapes should be defined as historical, both in subject matter and in imagery. In other words, there is no need to separate the landscapes from the mainstream of the artist's work, there was no opposition, moreover - Poussin's landscapes are inhabited by the same heroes as his heroic paintings.

In 1648 Poussin was commissioned by Serizier to paint two landscapes with Fochion: "The Transfer of Phocion's Body" and "Landscape with Phocion's Widow." The story of Phocion, reported by Plutarch, was widely known in the seventeenth century and was an example of the highest human dignity. The action of the dylogy took place, respectively, in Athens and in Megara. After Poussin's death these paintings were seen by Bernini. If Chantel is to be believed, he looked at the canvases for a long time and then, pointing to his forehead, reported that "Signor Poussino works from here." The landscape is extremely monumental: the connection of the plans is made by the image of the road along which the body of the suicidal commander is being carried. At the intersection of the diagonals is a monument, the meaning of which is unclear to researchers. The theme of death dominates in the painting: the stones of the ruins are associated with tombstones, the tree with severed branches symbolizes a violent death and the monument in the center of the composition is reminiscent of a tomb. The main plot is built on contrasts: in addition to the mournful procession there is an ordinary life, travelers wander, shepherds lead the flock, the procession heads for the temple. Nature is also serene. The architectural details in this landscape are particularly detailed, but since Greek architecture was poorly represented in those days, Poussin used drawings from Palladio's treatise. More cheerful is Landscape with Diogenes, based on a staggering episode from the treatise of Diogenes of Laertes: after seeing a boy draw water with a handful, the cynic philosopher appreciated the agreement of this method with nature and discarded his cup as an obvious excess. The content of the landscape painting, however, is not reducible to its subject; it presents a generalized multidimensional picture of the world.

"Landscape with Orpheus and Eurydice" is not mentioned in biographical sources. The central episode here is typologically similar to the painting Landscape with the Man Killed by the Snake. The source of the mythological landscape was the 10th song of Ovid's Metamorphoses. In the painting Orpheus is plucking the strings of a lyre, two naiads are listening to him, and the figure in the mantle is probably Hymenaeus, who has appeared at the call. Eurydice, on the other hand, turns away from the serpent, throwing away the jug, her posture expressing fear. The fisherman with the rod, hearing Eurydice's cry, looks back at her. On the knoll beneath the trees are paraphernalia of the feast, including two wreaths and a basket. The buildings on the horizon are remarkable, one of them clearly resembling the Roman Castle of St. Angel, with clouds of smoke rising above it. It seems to be an allusion to a text by Ovid: the torch of Hymenaeus was smoldering, foreshadowing misfortune. Dark clouds cover the sky, their shadow falls on the mountain, the lake and the trees. Quietness and serenity reign in nature, however, as in the scene surrounding Orpheus. The mood is underscored by the local colors of the fabrics - scarlet, orange, blue, purple, and green. One can even notice some influence of the Quattrocento masters: thin trees with openwork crowns on the background of the horizon were loved to depict by Italian masters of the 15th century, including the young Raphael.

"Landscape with Polyphemus" was performed for Pointele in 1649. For a long time it was thought that it was paired with Landscape with Hercules and Cacus (kept in the State Museum of Fine Arts), but this opinion has not been confirmed. The subject of Landscape with Polyphemus also seems to derive from Ovid's Metamorphoses, their 13th song, in which Galatea tells of Polyphemus falling in love with her. Poussin, however, did not reproduce the bloody scene between Aquidas, Polyphemus and Galatea, but created an idyll in which the song of the cyclops in love resounds over the valley. M.V. Alpatov, trying to decipher the meanings of the canvas, noted that Poussin was not an illustrator of ancient myths and, being perfectly aware of primary sources and knowing how to work with them, created his own myth. The landscape is notable for the breadth of its conception; in the composition, rocks, trees, fields and groves with settlers, a lake and a distant sea bay create a multifaceted image of nature in its heyday. Working with the figure of Polyphemus, Poussin extremely freely handled the perspective, softening the contrasts and moderating the intensity of color. He used color in many ways: conveying volume in a still life at the bottom edge of the picture, modeling bodies and transmitting the shades of green. According to Y. Zolotov, in these works Poussin departed from the rigid schemes set for himself and enriched his own creativity.

At the very end of the 1640s Poussin executed two self-portraits. The Louvre was mentioned in a letter to Chantelu May 29, 1650, because it was executed on his order. Both self-portraits are equipped with extensive Latin inscriptions. In the portrait, executed for Pointele (now in the Berlin Picture Gallery), Poussin describes himself as "the Roman academician and the first ordinary painter of the King of Gaul. The second self-portrait is dated the jubilee year of 1650, the artist described himself simply as "a painter from Andel." The Latin inscriptions clearly emphasize the solemnity of the image itself. In his Berlin self-portrait, Poussin shows himself as an academic, as indicated by his black robe, holding in his hand a book signed in Latin "On light and color" (Lat. De lumine et colore). This contrasted sharply with the self-portraits of his great contemporaries: for example, Rubens and Rembrandt generally avoided features reminiscent of their craft as artists. Velázquez, in The Meninies, depicted himself directly during the creative act. Poussin, on the other hand, presented himself with the attributes of the craft, but in the process of creative reflection. The artist placed his face exactly in the center of an antique marble slab with a laurel garland thrown over the figures of geniuses or putti. It is thus a type of self-portrait for posterity, expressing the formula non omnis moriar ("no, all of me will not die").

The Louvre self-portrait (reproduced at the beginning of this article) is better covered in the literature and better known because it contains many obscure symbols. Behind his back, Poussin depicts three paintings leaning against the wall; one has a Latin inscription on the reverse side of it. Another canvas depicts a female figure, the meaning of which is debated. Bellori described her as an allegory of the Painting (as indicated by the tiara) and the arms around her symbolized friendship and love of painting. Poussin himself is holding a hand on a folder, apparently with drawings, an attribute of his craft. For Poussin the artist is above all a thinker capable of resisting the blows of fate, as he wrote to Chantel back in 1648. N. A. Dmitrieva noted that Poussin did not have a strong will, and this will is directed into the depths of the soul, not outward. By this he was fundamentally different from the Renaissance painters, who believed in the real omnipotence of man.

Despite the numerous illnesses that overtook Poussin in the 1650′s, he steadily resisted the weakness of the flesh and found the opportunity to develop their own creativity. New works testified to the intense search for the disclosure of the tragic in the pictorial scene. The painting "Birth of Bacchus" is known from Bellori's description, who emphasized that its subject is double - "Birth of Bacchus and Death of Narcissus". Two sources were combined in one composition: Ovid's Metamorphoses and Philostratus' Pictures, and in the Ovidian poem these mythological events consistently follow one another and allow the artist to build the plot motif on contrast. The central scene is dedicated to Mercury, who brings the infant Bacchus to the Nisean nymphs to raise him. As he hands Bacchus to the nymph Dirke, he simultaneously points to Jupiter in the heavens, to whom Juno presents a bowl of ambrosia. Poussin depicted all seven of the Nisean nymphs, placing them in front of the cave of Achelos. It is framed by grapes and ivy, which covered the infant from the flames in the form of which Jupiter appeared to Semele. The image of Pan playing the flute in the grove above was borrowed from Philostratus. In the lower right corner of the painting is shown a dead Narcissus and an Echo mourning him, leaning on a stone into which she must turn. The critics primarily interpreted this complex set of subjects in allegorical terms, seeing in the infant Bacchus the motif of the beginning of life, and in Narcissus its end and rebirth again, since flowers grow from his body. According to Y. Zolotov, this composition developed one of the motifs of Arcadian Shepherds. Combining in one subject the joy of life, serenity and the motif of inevitable death completely corresponded to the whole imaginative system of Poussin. In The Arcadian Shepherds the symbols of death thrilled the characters; in The Birth of Bacchus the singing nymphs notice neither the death of Narcissus nor the tragedy of Echo. As usual, this is not a mythological illustration, but a poetic structure in its own right. Famous parallels can be found in the composition to The Kingdom of Flora, and the technical solution of balancing the scenes, with their positioning on additional optical axes, is similar.

In 1658 a "Landscape with Orion" was executed for Passar. From the point of view of Yu. Zolotov, the quality of this painting is not too high. The color scheme is built on green and gray tones and is "notable for its lethargy. Strong accents are placed on the clothing of the characters - Orion's yellow, the other characters' yellow and blue. It is noteworthy that Poussin used loose multicolored pastose brushstrokes to paint the clothes, but in the background parts the paint is applied in a thin layer and does not show the usual Poussin expression. It has been suggested that the subject was imposed on the artist by the client. The most famous philosophical interpretation of the painting was offered by E. Gombrich, who suggested that Poussin presented a natural-philosophical picture of the circulation of moisture in nature. The myth of Orion is rarely found in classical painting, Poussin combined two different episodes in one picture: Diana from the cloud looks at the giant hunter. According to one version of the myth, she fell in love with the hunter; perhaps her passion is also conveyed through the two clouds reaching for the figure of Orion. It has been suggested that one of Poussin's sources was Giovanni Battista Fontana's engraving of Diana Chasing Orion. Indeed, this engraving also shows the hunter on a mount and surrounded by a cloud. The composition of the painting undoubtedly conveyed the mindset of Poussin, who in the same years wrote about the strange pranks and games with which Fortune is amused. The central character, the blinded Orion, moves by touch, though he is guided by a guide. The passerby, from whom Kedalion inquires about the road, in fact, serves as Fortune's instrument. The figurative sense of the painting is revealed in the fact that Orion's enormous stature connects the two planes of existence - the earthly and the heavenly. The space in the painting is complex: Orion is moving from the mountains to the seashore and is just at the beginning of a steep descent (his scale is conveyed by the figures of two travelers, visible only in half). Apparently, the giant's next step will send him straight into the abyss, Orion's uncertain gesture emphasizing this. The light in this painting pours from the center, and Orion heads toward it. In other words, Poussin also put a positive meaning into the painting: Orion seeks the beneficent luminary that will cure him of his blindness. This correlates with his constant motif of living by nature and reason.

The Four Seasons cycle is considered as a kind of pictorial testament of Poussin. This time the landscape motifs are filled with Old Testament subjects, but not taken in their sequence. "Spring" is the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, "Summer" is Ruth the Moabite woman in the field of Boaz, "Autumn" is Moses' messengers returning from the land of Canaan (Num. 13:24), "Winter" is the worldwide flood. Obviously, if Poussin were doing a simple illustration of the biblical text, "Spring" should have been immediately followed by "Winter" and "Fall" should have preceded "Summer". This seems to indicate that Poussin was not interested in theological symbolism. Likewise, none of his contemporaries mentioned any allegorical connotations of the paintings in this cycle, any requirements of the customer or anything like that.

The fame of the "Four Seasons" contributed to the fact that the "Summer" and "Winter" were chosen to lecture at the Royal Academy of Painting in 1668 and 1671 as illustrative models for teaching young artists. At the same time, Classicist critics considered this cycle "difficult" and even "not finished enough," which saw the creative decline of the artist at the end of his days. Contemporaries wrote that Poussin was seriously ill at the time of writing his last cycle, he strongly trembled. On the contrary, contemporary art historians have noted that Poussin showed all the strongest sides of his talent as a painter. His strokes are plastically expressive, colorful paste conveys not only the nuances of color, but also individual subject forms. According to Yu. Zolotov, Poussin managed to make another step forward: from the general plastic function of paint to its individualization. This makes the color gradations of the plans and the energy of the tonal ones especially convincing.

В. Zauerländer attempted in 1956 to apply biblical exegesis to decipher Poussin's cycle. Poussin, having set himself the task of presenting a holistic picture of existence, could well have put into the cycle the meaning of the four stages of human existence. "Spring" - the earthly Paradise, the time before the Fall and the giving of the Law; "Autumn" - the land of Canaan, living under the Divine Law; "Summer" - the time of falling away from the Law; "Winter" - the end of times and the Last Judgment. The weak point of such interpretations is that Poussin clearly did not intend to disturb the order of the seasons in accordance with the biblical subjects. Nevertheless, one cannot deny that the choice of at least three subjects is closely connected with Christology: he is the new Adam ("Spring"), the Son of Man, son of Jesse, grandson of Ruth ("Summer") and also son of David, ruler of Canaan ("Autumn"). Even Noah's ark ("Winter") can be interpreted as the Church, that is, the Body of Christ. In this case, one must assume that Poussin studied the exegesis of Augustine the Blessed deeply. One cannot, however, deny the powerful ancient mythological layer of meanings common to Poussin and the circle of his customers. The cycle is written in the quaternary tradition, and each season corresponds to one of the primary elements. The cycle is then seen in the correct sequence: "Spring" - Air, the breath of God that gave life to Adam; "Summer" - Fire, the solar heat that gives crops; "Autumn" - Earth, the wonderful fertility of the land of Canaan; Winter - Water and the World Flood. E. Blunt also suggested the symbolism of the four seasons of the day, but it is extremely unobvious. Poussin seems to have been inspired as much by Ovid's Metamorphoses as by Scripture, in which allegories of the annual cycle are also strong. Clearly from Ovid came the symbolism of flowers, ears, grapes and ice, tied to corresponding biblical subjects. In other words, it is impossible to talk about the decline of Poussin's creativity. According to N. Milovanovic, before his death he achieved a unique synthesis of antique and Christian tradition, the realization of which determined his entire life as an artist.

The last years of his life. Dying

After the election of the educated Jesuit pope Alexander VII in 1655, Poussin's situation in Rome began to improve. Cardinal Flavio Chigi, a relative of the pontiff, drew the attention of the papal family to the French artist, and thanks to this there were new customers in France as well. The Abbé Fouquet, brother of the superintendent of finance, turned to Poussin to decorate the Vaux-le-Vicomte. In a letter dated August 2, 1655 mentions that in Rome there are no artists equal to Poussin, despite the "staggering" cost of his paintings. It was also mentioned that the artist was sick that year, his hands were shaking, but it did not affect the quality of his work. Poussin himself wrote about similar difficulties, referring to Chantel. Poussin apparently needed the patronage of Fouquet and accepted an order for sketches of stucco and decorative vases - quite uncharacteristic of him; moreover, he made life-size models of vases. The order led to the fact that in 1655 the title of First Painter of the King was confirmed, and the salary delayed since 1643 was paid. In 1657 Cassiano dal Pozzo, who had patronized Poussin to the very end, died, and the artist executed his tombstone in the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, but it has not survived to this day. From the end of the 1650s Poussin's health continually deteriorated and the tone of his letters grew sadder and sadder. In a letter to Chantelu November 20, 1662 he said that the canvas sent him "Christ and the Samaritan woman" is the last. This was also reported by agents of other customers Poussin, he himself in 1663 confirmed that too decrepit and no longer able to work.

In late autumn 1664, Anne-Marie Poussin died; the half-paralyzed artist was left alone. He began to prepare for death: he made the last version of the will, and in a letter to de Chambray on March 1, 1665 outlined his views on art in a systematic form:

It is an imitation of all that is under the sun, made by means of lines and colors on some surface; its purpose is enjoyment. Principles that every reasonable person can accept: There is nothing visible without light. There is nothing visible without a transparent medium. There is nothing visible without outlines. There is nothing visible without color. There is nothing visible without distance. There is nothing visible without an organ of sight. What follows cannot be learned. It is inherent in the artist himself.

Judging by the description made in May 1665 artist A. Bruegel, Poussin in the last year of his life was not engaged in painting, but continued to communicate with people of art, especially C. Lorrain, with which he could and "drink a glass of good wine. Then in May he taught young artists how to measure antique statues. After six weeks of agonizing illness Nicolas Poussin died at noon on Thursday, October 19, 1665, and was buried the next day in the church of San Lorenzo in Lucina. He willed to be buried as modestly as possible, so that expenses would not exceed 20 Roman scudi, but Jean Duguet, considering it indecent, added another 60 from himself. The epitaph on the tombstone was composed by Bellori. The Abbé Nicaise of Dijon reacted to Poussin's death as "the Apelles of our day has passed away," and Salvatore Rosa wrote to Giovanbattista Ricciardi that the artist rather belonged to the upper world than to this.

The final will was certified September 21, 1665, it repealed the previous, dated November 16, 1664, drawn up after the death of his wife, and replaced the will of 1643 (there all the property was transferred to Anne-Marie Poussin). Shortly before his death, a grand-nephew from Normandy came to Poussin, but behaved so brazenly that the artist sent him back. According to his will, Poussin entrusted his soul to the Blessed Virgin, the apostles Peter and Paul and the guardian angel; he left 800 scudi to his brother-in-law Louis Duguet, 1000 scudi to his second brother-in-law Jean Duguet, 1000 scudi to his niece (another niece), 300 scudi to their father Leonardo Kerabito, and so on. Jean Duguet also described the artistic works left by Poussin. The list mentions about 400 graphic works and sketches. From the description, Poussin had his own home museum, which included more than 1,300 engravings, as well as marble and bronze antique statues and busts; the brother-in-law estimated the value of all this at 60,000 French ecus. Duguet had been selling his home collection as early as 1678.

Conception and Implementation

According to Joachim Zandrart, who was a painter himself and caught Poussin in his creative prime, the method of the French painter was remarkable. He carried a notebook with him and made an initial sketch the moment an idea emerged. Then followed a lot of analytical work: if the conceived plot was historical or biblical, Poussin reread and comprehended literary sources, made two general sketch and then developed a three-dimensional composition on wax models. In the process of painting, Poussin used the services of sitters. Poussin differed greatly from his contemporaries in his method: he worked alone on the work of art at all its stages, unlike Rubens, who used the services of colleagues and students, developing only the general concept and important for himself details. Poussin's sketches are quite general and schematic, he could perform dozens of sketches, practicing different compositions and light effects. Compositional sketches by layout constitute a significant part of the graphic heritage of the artist, they are easy to distinguish from sketches from memory or from the imagination. Poussin's attitude to the classical heritage was creative: his sketches of antiques are less meticulous and detailed than, for example, those of Rubens. Catalogs record about 450 of Poussin's drawings, but it is not known how much of his legacy has survived to the present day.

An obvious feature of Poussin's creative process was its meaningfulness. P. Mariette noted that the artist always had a great many ideas and one subject gave birth to "countless ideas"; a cursory sketch was enough for him to fix a particular solution. The subjects were often dictated by the customers, so for Poussin, when signing the contract, the right to free compositional decision was important. This allows us to understand the relevant passages in the correspondence. Poussin's rational approach was also expressed in the fact that on the basis of literary sources he tried to reconstruct the motivations of the characters. Thus, in a letter to Chantel dated July 2, 1641, Poussin reported that while working on paintings of the lives of Ignatius Loyola and Francis Xaverius, he carefully studied their hagiographies. Analytical work was needed to work out the historical details: he made extensive use of his own sketches and the Cassiano dal Pozzo Museum, but primarily to select psychologically authentic situations that illustrated human moral perfection. Poussin also had his own home museum, including antique statues of Flora, Hercules, Cupid, Venus, Bacchus and busts of Faun, Mercury, Cleopatra and Octavian Augustus. According to J. Duguet, Poussin owned about 1,300 engravings, including 357 by Dürer, 270 by Raphael, 242 by Carracci, 170 by Giulio Romano, 70 by Polidoro, 52 by Titian, 32 by Mantegna, and so on.

Pictorial technique. Perspective and coloring

For paintings Poussin used mostly Roman coarse-grained canvas, which he covered with red or brown ground. The general contours of figures, groups and architectural details were drawn on the ground with charcoal or chalk. Poussin was no pedant and trusted in his eyeballs and did not use precise markings on the canvas. He most often placed motifs important to the subject at the intersection of diagonals or at the intersection of the diagonal with the central axis of the canvas, but this was not a strict rule. However, traces of perspective markings in lead pencil have been found on The Abduction of the Sabine Women. The lines converge in the center, where the warrior's head is against the base of the right column. This led to the conclusion that Poussin used bifocal perspective, creating the illusion of spatial depth. After marking, the first underpainting was done with a stiff round brush. The colors were applied from dark to light, the sky and shadows of the background were painted in such a way that the canvas shone through them, the light spots were painted tightly. In a letter dated March 27, 1642 reported that the first performed a landscape or architectural backgrounds, and the figures - in the very last place. Poussin preferred ultramarine, azurite, copper and red ochre, lead yellow, umber, vermilion and lead white in his palette. He prided himself on his leisurely pace, spending an average of half a year or more on one painting.

Technically, Poussin underwent a significant evolution, the boundary of which was the year 1640. At an early stage Poussin sought to convey the effects of natural light and landscape environments, worked with broad strokes, and willingly used glaze and reflexes. In the later stage of the brushstrokes became less, and the defining role passed to pure local colors. According to S. Bourdon, local color in both light and shadow Poussin conveyed the same paint, varying only in tone. The combination of dark backgrounds and light figures gave the effect of a cold foreground and a warm depth. The rhythm of local spots and their equilibrium were achieved by the fact that they did not reinforce each other in contrast and were harmonized in the overall level of color saturation. Poussin did not strive for vigorous texture, his restrained strokes modeled forms.

Significant information for researchers of Poussin's legacy has been provided by radiography, used since the 1920s. The work is facilitated by the fact that the wooden boards and lead whitewash used for painting in the 17th century appear in the image as light areas, while other mineral paints dissolved in oil are transparent to X-rays. X-rays clearly show all the changes made by the artist during his work and allow us to judge the working markings on the canvas. In particular, Poussin's early painting Venus and Adonis is known in three versions, none of which were considered the original. Anthony Blunt stated categorically in a 1966 monograph that Poussin was not the author of this painting at all. After the painting came to auction in 1984, it was discovered that the heavily yellowed varnish made it impossible to appreciate the color scheme and greatly distorted the illusion of depth in the background landscape. After clearing and radiographing, the researchers unanimously confirmed Poussin's authorship, as the palette used and the working methods revealed were entirely consistent with him. In addition, the work was strongly influenced by Titian, whom Poussin was fascinated with precisely in the late 1620s. The X-ray showed that Poussin worked extensively on the background details, but that the figures remained unchanged. It was also proven that despite the careful planning of the work, an element of spontaneity was always present.

Theory of Creativity

Nicolas Poussin had an ambivalent attitude toward art theory, and he repeatedly declared that his work did not need words. At the same time, his biographer Bellori explained that the artist aspired to write a book in which he would summarize his experience, but postponed this intention to the moment "when he could no longer work with a brush. Poussin made extracts from the works of Zaccolini (adapting his musical doctrine to painting) and Vitello, sometimes theorizing in letters. The beginning of work on the notes on painting is recorded in a letter of August 29, 1650, but in response to an inquiry to Chantelu in 1665, Jean Duguet wrote that the work was limited to extracts and notes. Bellory and Zandrart noted that Poussin in private conversations with friends and admirers was very eloquent, but almost no traces of these discussions have not left. From the correspondence with fellow artists also almost nothing remains. For this reason it is extremely difficult to judge Poussin's worldview. In the dissertation by A. Matyasovski-Lates proves that Poussin consciously built his public image as a follower of Stoicism and in this regard was rooted in the Renaissance worldview. At the same time he was acutely aware of his low social origin and sought to raise his status, which he succeeded in a way. Poussin's intellectual ambitions were quite compatible with the Renaissance notion of nobility in spirit, which allowed outstanding artists of low birth to be included in the noble hierarchy on an equal footing. Y. Zolotov, however, noted that the role of stoicism or epicureanism in Poussin's work should not be exaggerated because, firstly, Poussin the artist did not necessarily profess any particular philosophical system; the figurative system of his paintings was largely determined by the circle of his customers. Secondly, by the time Poussin's Roman clientele took shape, his worldview must have been long established, and some changes are purely hypothetical, since his personal statements were not recorded until after the 1630s.

The main programmatic document left by Poussin was a letter of 1642 addressed to the suble de Noyer, the text of which is known only from Felibien's biography; it is difficult to judge how much of it has come down to us. Poussin included in this text a fragment of D. Barbaro's treatise on perspective. The quotation-translation follows immediately after the phrase:

You need to know that there are two ways to see objects, one is simply by looking at them and the other is by looking at them with attention.

The reason for writing the letter and the aesthetic judgments expressed there was Poussin's criticism of the decoration of the Grand Gallery of the Louvre and his responses on the relationship between painting, architecture and space. Poussin's most important theses were the guiding principle of revealing the tectonics of the interior by all the elements of its decoration and its classical organization. Poussin's entire aesthetic was in direct opposition to the Baroque, and he made no secret of his indignation at the increasing popularity of painted ceilings, whose space was "breaking through" the vaults. Equally he rejected the overpowering forms and their conflict; this subsequently formed the basis of the confrontation between the "Poussinists" and the "Rubensists". Poussin was also reproached for "insufficient richness" of design.

In Bellori and Felibien's account, Poussin's theory of modes is well known, in which he attempted to transfer the classification of modes in music proposed by the Venetian J. Zarlin to painting. Poussin's theory was based on the principles of harmony and proportionality of the artwork in accordance with the lessons of nature and the requirements of reason. The theory of modus operandi presupposed certain rules of representation for each type of subject. Thus, the Doric modus is suitable for the theme of moral exploits, and the Ionic modus for carefree and merry subjects. Poussin highly valued realism as fidelity to the depiction of nature, which does not slip, on the one hand, to burlesque, but on the other - to stylization and idealization. Thus style and manner, according to Poussin, must be adequate to the nature of the subject. The "restraint" of Poussin's style, noted by all without exception, was rooted in his personality and expressed in practice in his detachment from the tastes of both the French royal court and the Counter-Reformation Vatican; and this detachment only increased over time.

Historiography. Poussin and Academism

The disproportion between the documentary accounts of Poussin's life and the principled position of his first biographers, who proclaimed him the first classicist and academic, led to the fact that until the middle of the 20th century art history was dominated by perceptions of the late formation of Poussin the artist and the eclectic nature of his work. One of the first exceptions was Eugène Delacroix, who characterized Poussin as a great innovator, which was underestimated by contemporary art historians. О. Grautoff also spoke out strongly against judgments about Poussin's lack of independence as a painter. In 1929, Poussin's early drawings of the Parisian period of his work were discovered, which demonstrated all the characteristic features of his mature style.

The notion of Poussin - the precursor and founder of academism - was formed by his biographer Felibien and the president of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture Lebrun soon after the artist's death. In 1667, Lebrun opened a series of lectures on prominent painters at the Academy, the first devoted to Raphael. On November 5, the president of the Academy read a lengthy speech about Poussin's painting The Gathering of the Manna, which finally introduced the Roman recluse into the academic tradition, linking him to Raphael in continuity. It was Lebrun who first stated that Poussin combined the graphic skill and "natural expression of the passions" of Raphael with the harmony of Titian's colors and the lightness of Veronese's brushwork. It was also Lebrun who tried to find antique iconographic prototypes for the characters of Poussin's paintings, laying the tradition of academic "fitting of imperfect nature. Yuri Zolotov noted that disputes about Poussin's paintings at the French Academy of Arts often boiled down to an assessment of how accurately the subject matter of a painting reproduced the literary original, which was called "verisimilitude. A curious case occurred with Rebecca at the Well, which was reproached by a critic for lacking the camels of the canonical primary source, a discussion that included Colbert, the founder of the Academy himself. In this discussion, Lebrun stated categorically that the mixing of high and low genres in a single work of art was inadmissible. Poussin's letter about "modus" was read in this context, although the artist himself did not attempt to adapt the theory of musical harmonies to the hierarchy of works of art. Nevertheless, the Lebrunian interpretation has remained for centuries and was used as early as 1914 in a monograph by W. Friedlander. Friedländer, in which a separate chapter was devoted to Poussin's "modus". As early as 1903-1904, in his critical biography of Poussin and his study of his work in the context of the spiritual life of the era and the method of Corneille and Pascal, P. Desjardins noted a certain incongruity in the theory of modes.

In 1911 J. Chouanni made the first textually accurate scientific edition of Poussin's surviving correspondence. Only in the 1930s did the British researcher E. Blunt subject Poussin's correspondence and his theoretical works to source criticism. Thus it became clear that Poussin as a person was not connected to the tradition of academism and never used the term "benevolence", because he never fit into the court school and experienced a sharp conflict with the future pillars of the Academy. The criticism of the classicist approach to Poussin was also demonstrated in the same years by M. V. Alpatov. In this context, the relationship between Poussin's lively, spontaneous creativity and the definition of classicism in art is an extremely complex problem. This is associated with a fundamentally different understanding of reason in the cultural situation of the seventeenth century. Y. Zolotov noted that this century appreciated the ability of man to think analytically, and reason was an instrument of freedom, not a "jailer of feeling." Poussin's creative task was the exact opposite of impulsiveness - he was looking for strict regularities in the world order, the truth in passions. That is why, beginning with R. Jung's study published in 1947, art historians have tried to dissociate Poussin's legacy from Lebrunian classicism. The same R. Jung noted:

"...If classicism is understood as the suppression of sensual impulse by a ruthless reason, Poussin does not belong to it, goes beyond it; but if classicism is understood as the deliberate revelation of all possibilities of being, mutually enriching and controlling each other, Poussin, is a classic and our greatest classicist."

In the second half of the 1930s, the iconological school of art criticism, treating painting as a grammatical code, emerged vividly. This approach was represented by the names of E. Panofsky and E. Gombrich. Their polemic began in connection with the analysis of the painting Arcadian Shepherds. Later Gombrich successfully developed an esoteric interpretation of Poussin's mythological subjects, based on the intellectual achievements of his era. Panofsky, like Gombrich, interpreted Poussin's paintings in the light of literary sources, not only ancient ones, but also Niccolò Conti's compilations of allegorical significance. However, M. Alpatov and Y. Zolotov criticized the iconological approach as going back to the traditional academic interpretation of Poussin as an "obedient illustrator. Nevertheless, this iconological approach has had tremendous practical results: the first volume of a scholarly catalog of Poussin's work, by W. Friedländer and E. Blunt, was published in 1939. The ideas about the chronology of Poussin's work have also changed considerably, thanks to the archival research of J. Costello.

Poussin and Christianity

The curators of Poussin and God (2015), Nicolas Milovanovic and Michael Santo, posed the question of the deep faith and motivating impulses of the artist's painting. From their perspective, Poussin is "a painter-artist whose strength of soul was evident in the dispute between the ascetic manner and the creative freedom of the genius of the brush. The direct question of whether Poussin was a Christian and what was the nature of his faith was posed by Jacques Tuillier during a 1994 Louvre retrospective. Poussin's closed nature and few sources have led researchers to sometimes polar opposing views: Anthony Blunt experienced a radical reversal of views between 1958 and 1967. Whereas in the 1950s he wrote about Poussin's affinity for the libertines, a decade later he declared a consonance between the religious theme in the artist's art and Augustinianism. Marc Fumaroli also did not doubt the sincerity of the artist's religious feelings, while Tuillier believed that Poussin's religious paintings lacked "grace. Y. Zolotov also believed that Poussin's art was opposed to the Counter-Reformation, and that on the eve of his death he was clearly expressing non-Christian views. During the Jubilee year of 1650, he allowed himself to mock the miracles and credulity of the crowd.

Researchers of the XXI century are more inclined to conduct a Christian interpretation of Poussin's work, especially of his philosophical landscapes, created in his late years "for himself", beyond any influence of the tastes and demands of his customers. Poussin's genius, according to N. Milovanovic and M. Santo, allowed for the original articulation and poetic form of subjects common in the art of his time, which itself then influenced the circle of intellectuals. Poussin's approach to biblical subjects was undoubtedly inspired by Christian exegesis. His interest in the Old Testament, and Moses in particular, stemmed from his exegetical tendency to interpret the stories of the Old Testament in the light of the New Testament. The combination of pagan and Christian themes was quite usual for the art of the XVII century and there is no reason to draw any deep conclusions without the direct testimony of Poussin. There is no doubt, however, that in The Four Seasons the marked singularity of the landscape reveals Christ to be present in all of creation and in every detail. His beliefs, then, resembled those of Cassiano dal Pozzo and his friends, as well as those of Poussin's French customers, such as Paul-Fréard Chanteloup.

The above did not exclude mystical or even occult motifs. The figure of Moses in particular meant a great deal to seventeenth-century intellectuals, since he was seen as a forerunner of Christ, but on the other hand was the man closest to divine wisdom. At the same time he was placed in the line of the transmission of Revelation before Christ through the line of the sages, Hermes Trismegistus, Orpheus, Pythagoras, Philolaus, and Plato. In keeping with the Renaissance tradition, Moses and Hermes Trismegistus symbolized the reconciliation of ancient pagan and modern Christian wisdom. Poussin in some of his compositions associated Moses with both Egyptian wisdom and Christ. This opened up space for the most fantastic interpretations: for example, in the complex symbolism of the painting "Et in Arcadia ego," various authors see Poussin's proximity to the keepers of the secret of Christ's death on the cross, which he encrypted, or that he was an initiate, who knew the location of the Ark of the Covenant.


Monuments to Poussin began to be erected from the first half of the eighteenth century as academism and the Enlightenment cult of reason became established. In 1728, Chevalier d'Agincourt obtained the installation of a bust of Poussin in the Pantheon of Paris. When a bust of Poussin was installed in Rome in 1782, a Latin inscription was placed on the pedestal - "to the artist-philosopher". In revolutionary France, in 1796, a medal with Poussin's profile was minted to reward the best students of art schools. The conservatives of the nineteenth century, starting with the Abbé Arquillier and Chateaubriand, on the contrary, tried to restore to Poussin the halo of a true Christian artist. It was Chateaubriand who achieved the installation of Poussin's sumptuous tombstone in the church of San Lorenzo in Lucina. Victor Cousin viewed Poussin in the same context as Estache Lesuer and linked them to the ideal of "Christian spiritualism," the key to which was the Seven Sacraments cycle. In 1851, on his initiative, a monument was erected in Paris, with a mass celebrated by the Bishop of Evreux at the dedication. A monument to Poussin, signed Et in Arcadia ego, was erected on the site of his father's supposed home in Villers. Even earlier, in 1836, a statue of Poussin was installed at the French Academy of Sciences.

The idea of an encyclopedic exhibition of Poussin was first reflexed and realized in the USSR in 1955-1956 (by the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hermitage). In 1960, the Louvre collected and presented all of the artist's surviving works, marking a turning point in Poussin's historiography as well. The Louvre exhibition was preceded by a scientific colloquium in 1958 (the USSR was represented by M. V. Alpatov), the materials of which were published in two volumes. In the same edition of J.. Tuillier placed a complete set of documents of the seventeenth century, which mentioned Poussin. J. Tuillier subsequently prepared a full scientific catalog of Poussin's paintings. In this catalog, the chronology of many of the artist's works was shifted and the theory of the "turn from man to nature" was refuted, since Poussin turned to the landscape genre as early as the 1630s.

From April 2 to June 29, 2015, the Louvre hosted the exhibition "Poussin and God. Its main purpose was to offer a new perspective on the religious painting of the French classicist. The exhibition was timed to coincide with the 350th anniversary of the painter's death, and it was the religious painting that turned out to be the least known and simultaneously the most plastic type of his art during these centuries, as traditionally the attention of researchers was drawn to his mythologemes and allegories. The question of Poussin's religiosity has also not been fully resolved by researchers. The exhibition featured 99 works, including 63 paintings, 34 drawings and 2 prints. One of the main goals of the curators of the exhibition was to challenge the traditional neo-historical interpretations of his work. The master's work was divided into seven sections: "Roman Catholicism," "The Holy Family," "Jesuit Patrons and Catholic Friends," "Preference of Christian Providence over Pagan Fate," "Images of Moses and Christ in Poussin's work," and, finally, landscapes. Parallel to Poussin's exhibition at the Louvre was another, "The Making of Sacred Images. Rome-Paris, 1580-1660." It included 85 paintings, sculptures and drawings and provided the contextual background for the Poussin exhibition.


  1. Nicolas Poussin
  2. Пуссен, Никола
  3. Письма, 1939, с. 5.
  4. Desjardins, 1903, p. 20.
  5. Desjardins, 1903, p. 7.
  6. 1 2 3 Золотов, 1988, с. 8.
  7. Золотов, 1988, с. 7.
  8. ^ Wells, John C. (2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0.
  9. ^ Jones, Daniel (2011). Roach, Peter; Setter, Jane; Esling, John (eds.). Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-15255-6.
  10. ^ His Lives of the Painters was published in Rome, 1672.
  11. a et b Thuillier 1994, p. 100-101.
  12. Joseph Connors, « Review: Le vite de' pittori, scultori, ed architetti..., Rome, 1642 by Giovanni Baglione, Jacob Hess, Herwarth Röttgen; Die Künstlerbiographien von Giovanni Battista Passeri by Jacob Hess; Vite de' pittore, scultori ed architetti moderni by Lione Pascoli, Valentino Martinelli, Alessandro Marabottini », Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol. 57, no 4,‎ 1er décembre 1998, p. 469–471 (ISSN 0037-9808, DOI 10.2307/991466, lire en ligne, consulté le 28 juin 2020)[source insuffisante]
  13. Thuillier 1994, p. 102-103.
  14. Thuillier 1994, p. 104-105.
  15. a b Joachim von Sandrart: Joachim von Sandrarts Academie der Bau-, Bild- und Mahlerey-Künste von 1675. Leben der berühmten Maler, Bildhauer und Baumeister (1675). Hrsg.: A. R. Pelzer. München 1925.
  16. Ingo Herklotz: Zwei Selbstbildnisse von Nicolas Poussin und die Funktionen der Porträtmalerei. In: Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft. Band 27, 2000, ISSN 0342-121X, S. 243–268, doi:10.2307/1348720, JSTOR:1348720.

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