Nov 102009
Nicolas Poussin: Eliezer and Rebecca

Poussin’s Eliezer and Rebecca presents a curious departure from the solemn subject matter often preferred by the painter. This is an everyday scene where the majority of the actors perform everyday tasks; Eliezer himself, if we remember, was a servant. In this piece Poussin offers a generous and keen psychological portrait of girlhood, describing a […]

Sep 222009
Nicolas Poussin: The Judgment of Solomon

The Judgement of Solomon (hanging in Louvre Museum, Paris) is another painting where Poussin found, I believe, a precise balance between color and composition. While the influence of Venice makes itself evident in the rich red, orange, and blue of the robes, it’s the rigorous geometrical organization, unusually austere when compared to the often overabundant […]

Mar 012009
Nicolas Poussin: The Death of Germanicus

Some critics consider The Death of Germanicus (painted in 1627, in France, hanging in the The Minneapolis Institute of Arts), Nicolas Poussin’s early masterpiece. The painting presents a linear, barelief-like scene with several emotional pivots, all induced by the death of the Roman general (read full Britannica article on Germanicus Julius Caesar). Lying on the […]

Feb 162009
Caravaggio: Deposition (The Entombment of Christ)

Caravaggio‘s Entombment (Pinacoteca Vaticana, Vatican City) presents a symbiosis between an emotionally strung theme and a monolithic, balanced composition. Suffering is elevated to an aesthetically pleasing – and hence tragic – conception that flows from a congregation of actors, a single block reminiscent of a bas-relief (Caravaggio was known for his propensity to emulate sculpture). […]