Tuesday, June 15, 2010

When in Rome

The fellow in the self-portrait above is one Nicolas Poussin, born this day 1594 in Les Andelys, France. His early sketches attracted the notice of a local painter, whom Poussin apprenticed to until he decided to run away to Paris at the age of 18. He got some further training in his art in Paris, and after two failed attempts to "run off" to Rome, he finally succeeded in getting there at the age of 30. He would spent the rest of his life and career there except for two years when he was recalled to Paris to become the First Painter to the King. Probably his most famous painting is "The Rape of the Sabine Women" an interesting work that would inspire Jacques-Louis David (himself a hero, and Napoleon's somewhat official painter). It is hard to describe in words what I find fascinating about Poussin's works, and I highly recommend you Google him yourself, and take a gander at some of his paintings. His landscapes are fantastic, and the above self-portrait is brimming with a sort of realism unusual for his time. So, for painting "some pretty pictures" Nicolas Poussin (June 15th, 1594-November 19th, 1665, at the age of 71), you are my (294th) hero of the day.

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