Poussin Paintings: A Catalogue Raisonne

Christopher Wright, Author Buccaneer Books $60 (303p) ISBN 978-0-87052-218-5
A Frenchman who lived in Rome for 40 years, Nicolas Poussin was one of the most influential painters of the 17th century, yet today, largely ignored by the general public, he is admired only by scholars and artists. His best pictures are dark meditations on tragedy and death, while his happy picturesdrunken, posed bacchanalsare almost ludicrous to the modern taste. Even his landscapes point to a moral. Wright has sought to restore Poussin's importance and meaning for our time, and, with the aid of some 200 color plates, he has succeeded. He discusses the Sacraments as an interrelated series of moods and analyzes the serene poetry of the landscapes. Poussin's avowed goal was to make the spectator think, and his religious or mythological scenes here emerge as the working out of an ethical viewpoint. Wright enables us to see this without over-emphasizing Christian or classical symbolism. December 18
Reviewed on: 10/01/1985
Release date: 10/01/1985
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