Nicolas Poussin / Bacchanal / ca. 1635-6Nicolas Poussin
ca. 1635-6

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Creator Name: Poussin, Nicolas
Creator Nationality: European; French
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: French, 1594-1665
Creator Name-CRT: Nicolas Poussin
Title: Bacchanal
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1635
Creation End Date: 1636
Creation Date: ca. 1635-6
Object Type: Drawings and Watercolors
Materials and Techniques: Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over faint black chalk underdrawing
Dimensions: 5-1/4 x 8-1/8 in. (13.3 x 20.6 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1998.225
Credit Line: Purchase, David T. Schiff Gift, 1998

Although he spent most of his career in Rome, Poussin was considered the greatest living French artist, and his work was avidly sought after by influential French collectors. This sparkling study can be related to the 'Triumph of Pan' (National Gallery, London) executed for Cardinal Richelieu, the French minister of state, along with a pendant depicting the 'Triumph of Bacchus' (Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City). While the finished painting depicts a scene of sensual abandon, the drawn studies reveal Poussin's cerebral process of composition, in which individual figures are treated as formal elements of a tightly knit composition based on classical ideals of beauty. Here, broad, abstracted areas of wash are used to explore the volume and spatial relations of the complex figural group that can be seen, in reversed direction, at the left side of the painting. At least four other studies for the painting survive-two at Windsor Castle, England, and two at Bayonne, France-suggesting the care with which Poussin prepared this important commission.

AMICA ID: MMA_.1998.225
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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