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About Nicolas Poussin


Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665 

Nicolas Poussin, a French artist of the 17th century, is considered one of the founders of European classicism, a movement in art, based on antique and Renaissance heritage.

Poussin was trained in Paris 1612-1621 under Ferdinand Elle and Georges Lallemand, and became acquainted with engravings after Raphael and Giulio Romano and with antique sculpture in the royal collections.

After two years as court painter to Louis XIII, Nicolas Poussin went to Rome in 1624, where he lived most of his life.


The first Roman period 1624-1630 is characterized by mythological themes. In 1628-1629 he painted an altarpiece for a chapel in St. Peters Cathedral Martyrdom of St. Erasmus.

In the late Roman period 1642-1665, Poussin continued to work mainly in historical genre. The most important work of that period is the series Seasons.

Nicolas Poussin used a special box and wax figures. First he built his compositions, then started to draw preliminary sketches, and only then painted.

Poussin is considered as a leader of pictorial classicism in the Baroque period. His Paintings became the basis of the French academic style of the 17th century. His paintings of scenes from the Bible and from Greco-Roman antiquity influenced generations of French painters, including Jacques-Louis David, Ingres, and Paul Cézanne.

His health declined from 1660 onward, and early in 1665 he ceased to paint. Poussin died that year and was buried in San Lorenzo in Lucina, his Roman parish church.

Poussin's biography
Poussin at Olga's Gallery
Poussin at artcyclopedia

Poussin at CGFA
Poussin at Wikipedia
Poussin at web gallery of art
Poussin at artchive