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Čís. položky 339


Circle of Nicolas Poussin


(Les Andelys 1594–1665 Rome)
Saint Denis frightening his executioners with his head,
oil on canvas, 64.5 x 84 cm, framed

Exhibited:
Richard L. Feigen & Co., London, ‘Poussin before Rome’, 1594–1624,
19 January – 3 March 1995, no. 14

Literature:
J. Thuillier, ‘Poussin before Rome’, 1594–1624, exhibition catalogue, London 1995, p. 68, no. 14 (as After Poussin);
L. Pericolo, ‘Philippe de Champaigne’, Tournai 2002, p. 27 (as After [?] Nicolas Poussin)

The present painting is one of several known versions of an untraced Poussin composition, possibly dating from the artist’s early production.

Little is known about Poussin’s early oeuvre or his artistic training. He was already thirty and an accomplished artist when he arrived in Rome in April 1624. Jacques Thuillier assembled different versions of Saint Denis frightening his executioners for the exhibition Poussin before Rome, amongst them the present painting (see J. Thuillier in literature) and a version in New York (Feigen Collection) which he recognised, with reservations, as being by Poussin’s hand (op. cit. Thuillier, 1995, pp. 72–73, no. 18).

Poussin’s work is characterised by clarity, logic and order, as is apparent in the present composition. The horizon is set almost halfway and three different levels can be distinguished: the foreground, which represents the place of martyrdom; a middle ground, with a landscape extending beyond; and finally, the background featuring a mountain range. Consequently, the figures in the foreground impose themselves on the viewer, who is led to witness the scene and the contrasting reactions of the figures. In order to unify the two compositional levels, the painter has used a tree, protruding above the scene, with a figure in a plumed cap climbing onto it.

Saint Denis was sent from Italy to convert Gaul in the third century and is considered to be the first Bishop of Paris. He was beheaded as a martyr and buried outside the city, in today’s Saint-Denis. According to tradition, he and his two companions Eleutherius and Rusticus were brought before the governor, who had them beheaded with an axe in front of the statue of the god Mercury. However, Denis stood up, took his head in his hands and, accompanied by an angel, carried it from the place of martyrdom to a place two miles away where later both the body and the head were buried.

Expert: Mark MacDonnell Mark MacDonnell
+43 1 515 60 312

oldmasters@dorotheum.com

16.12.2021 - 19:19

Odhadní cena:
EUR 5.000,- do EUR 8.000,-
Vyvolávací cena:
EUR 4.000,-

Circle of Nicolas Poussin


(Les Andelys 1594–1665 Rome)
Saint Denis frightening his executioners with his head,
oil on canvas, 64.5 x 84 cm, framed

Exhibited:
Richard L. Feigen & Co., London, ‘Poussin before Rome’, 1594–1624,
19 January – 3 March 1995, no. 14

Literature:
J. Thuillier, ‘Poussin before Rome’, 1594–1624, exhibition catalogue, London 1995, p. 68, no. 14 (as After Poussin);
L. Pericolo, ‘Philippe de Champaigne’, Tournai 2002, p. 27 (as After [?] Nicolas Poussin)

The present painting is one of several known versions of an untraced Poussin composition, possibly dating from the artist’s early production.

Little is known about Poussin’s early oeuvre or his artistic training. He was already thirty and an accomplished artist when he arrived in Rome in April 1624. Jacques Thuillier assembled different versions of Saint Denis frightening his executioners for the exhibition Poussin before Rome, amongst them the present painting (see J. Thuillier in literature) and a version in New York (Feigen Collection) which he recognised, with reservations, as being by Poussin’s hand (op. cit. Thuillier, 1995, pp. 72–73, no. 18).

Poussin’s work is characterised by clarity, logic and order, as is apparent in the present composition. The horizon is set almost halfway and three different levels can be distinguished: the foreground, which represents the place of martyrdom; a middle ground, with a landscape extending beyond; and finally, the background featuring a mountain range. Consequently, the figures in the foreground impose themselves on the viewer, who is led to witness the scene and the contrasting reactions of the figures. In order to unify the two compositional levels, the painter has used a tree, protruding above the scene, with a figure in a plumed cap climbing onto it.

Saint Denis was sent from Italy to convert Gaul in the third century and is considered to be the first Bishop of Paris. He was beheaded as a martyr and buried outside the city, in today’s Saint-Denis. According to tradition, he and his two companions Eleutherius and Rusticus were brought before the governor, who had them beheaded with an axe in front of the statue of the god Mercury. However, Denis stood up, took his head in his hands and, accompanied by an angel, carried it from the place of martyrdom to a place two miles away where later both the body and the head were buried.

Expert: Mark MacDonnell Mark MacDonnell
+43 1 515 60 312

oldmasters@dorotheum.com


Horká linka kupujících Po-Pá: 9.00 - 18.00
old.masters@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 403
Aukce: Alte Meister
Datum: 16.12.2021 - 19:19
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Prohlídka: 13.12. - 16.12.2021