Nicolas Poussin / The Death of Germanicus / 1627Nicolas Poussin
The Death of Germanicus

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Creator Name: Poussin, Nicolas
Creator Nationality: European; French
Creator Role: painter
Creator Dates/Places: 1594 - 1665
Gender: M
Creator Name-CRT: Nicolas Poussin
Title: The Death of Germanicus
View: front
Creation Start Date: 1627
Creation End Date: 1627
Creation Date: 1627
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: oil on canvas
Dimensions: H.58 x W.77-3/8 in.
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 58.28
Credit Line: The William Hood Dunwoody Fund

The young Roman general Germanicus has just been poisoned by his jealous adoptive father, the emperor Tiberius. On his deathbed, Germanicus asks his friends to avenge his murder and his wife to endure her sorrow bravely. The subject of this, Poussin's first major history painting, comes from the Annales of the Roman historian Tacitus. The event occurred in a.d. 19.

A key work in Western painting, this tragic picture presents a moral lesson in stoic heroism, seen especially in the restraint and dignity of the mourning soldiers. This painting became the model for countless deathbed scenes for two centuries to come, particularly for Neoclassical art around 1800. Many powerful human themes figure here: death, suffering, injustice, grief, loyalty, and revenge.

Poussin drew on Roman antiquity for the form as well as the subject of this painting. The composition, with its shallow spatial arrangement, is based on a Roman sarcophagus relief. Poussin spent most of his life in Rome, where he created a classical style that strongly influenced both French and Italian art.

Acquired in 1958 58.28

Related Multimedia Description: Antenna Audio: Permanent Collection Tour
Link to Multimedia: MIA_.AA200101.21.mp3
AMICA ID: MIA_.58.28
Component Measured: overall
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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