Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) was the preeminent French painter of the 17th century, securing his place among the greatest artists of all time. His profound grasp of antiquity and the Italian Renaissance resulted in works characterized by sophistication, clarity, and discipline, serving as a model for classicizing artists up to Cezanne and into subsequent centuries. While Poussin primarily explored religious and mythological themes, Richard Verdi’s enlightening introductory essay reveals their intensely personal origins.
Poussin’s extensive study of the Roman countryside laid the groundwork for landscape paintings exuding heroic grandeur and lyrical beauty. This catalog coincides with the inaugural comprehensive exhibition of Poussin’s paintings in Britain, commemorating the 400th anniversary of his birth. Curated by Pierre Rosenberg, Director of the Louvre, and Neil MacGregor, Director of the National Gallery in London, the exhibition features around ninety paintings from global public and private collections, making it both a scholarly landmark and a magnet for public fascination.
The lavish and exquisitely illustrated volume incorporates recent research on Poussin, appealing to art historians and anyone captivated by Western classical tradition. It delves into the genesis of Poussin’s major works, presenting them in all their splendor. As a definitive study of the artist and his oeuvre, this catalog is poised to remain unparalleled for the foreseeable future.