Nicolas Poussin (1594 - 1665) was a French classical painter. His style consists of clarity, logic, and order, and favors line over color. He is considered the greatest French artist of the 17th century and one of the founders of European classicism which has its roots in antique and Renaissance heritage. Many of his works show an authoritative interpretation of ancient history and Greek and Roman mythological figures as well as biblical scenes. Our collection of patterns includes two self portraits, the set of his Four Seasons paintings, and a wide cross section of other pieces. These include Adoration of the Golden Calf, Nymph Syrinx Pursued by Pan, Ideal Landscape, Israelites Gathering Manna, The Judgement of Solomon, and A Dance to the Music of Time.

Patterns Included In This Set:


Self Portrait

Helios and Phaeton with Saturn and the Four Seasons

Les Bergers d'Arcadie


Summer/Ruth and Boaz

Venus and Adonis

Adoration of the Golden Calf


Acis and Galatea

Diana and Endymion

Crossing of the Red Sea


A Dance to the Music of Time

Nymph Syrinx Pursued by Pan

The Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite


Ideal Landscape

Achillles Among the Daughters of Lycomedes



Battle of Gideon Against the Midianites

Cephalus and Aurora

Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery



Et in Arcadia Ego

Four Seasons - Autumn/Spies with Grapes


Four Seasons - Spring/Earthly Paradise

Four Seasons - Winter/Flood

Holy Family - Madonna Roccatagliata


Holy Family with Saint Elizabeth and Infant Saint John

Israelites Gathering Manna

Death of Sapphira


Self Portrait

The Judgment of Solomon

St. Cecilia

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Nicolas Poussin (15 June, 1594 19 November 1665) was a French classical painter in the Baroque style who lived and worked in Rome. His poetic interpretation of classical subjects influenced Ingres and David, as well as later generations of French classical artists.

Poussin was born in the small town of Les Andelys in Normandy. His parents were not wealthy, having been impoverished by unpaid military service to a series of French kings. The young Nicolas studied Latin, science and literature. Poussin's drawing skills were quickly noticed by a local painter, who took him on as a pupil; however, at the age of eighteen he ran away to Paris where he stayed until 1624 and studied in the studios of Flemish painter Ferdinand Elle, and Georges Lallemand, a minor French mannerist painter. He also became familiar with the classical works of the Italian High Renaissance and was especially influenced by the paintings of Raphael.

After several failed attempts to settle in Rome, in 1624 Giambattista Marino, court poet to Marie de Medicis, helped Poussin gain a foothold in the city. Except for a forced period in Paris from 1640-42, Poussin would spend all of his life in Rome.

With Marino's backing, Poussin's luck changed. He was introduced to the city's artistic and literary community, and by 1628 he received a commission to paint the Martyrdom of St. Erasmus, an altar piece for a chapel in St. Peter's Cathedral, a commission secured by the pope's nephew, Cardinal Barberini. But the painting was not a success with Rome's artistic community, perhaps because the Italian Baroque artists resented the intrusion of a Frenchman into what they considered to be "their territory." Disappointed, Poussin never painted another altar piece preferring only medium scale works for private patrons.

Poussin was 30 when he arrived in Rome and after completing the St. Erasmus altar piece he fell ill. He lodged in the household of Jacques Dughet, a French expatriate art restorer. Poussin fell in love with Dughet's daughter, Anne-Marie and they married in 1630. Although the couple did not have any children, Anne-Marie's younger brother was a talented landscape painter who became so close to Poussin that he took on his surname.

In the mid-1630s Poussin drew his inspiration from classical history and opposed the prevalent Baroque style. His subjects were derived from Roman antiquity and he was heavily influenced by the works of Raphael.

By 1638 Cardinal Richelieu of France began to notice Poussin's works and tried to persuade the artist to return to France to take royal commissions for King Louis XIII. Poussin was in no great hurry to return and managed to avoid the offer until threats from the French court forced him to come to Paris in 1640. For the next two years, Poussin worked on the decorations of the Louvre palace, painted altar pieces and produced cartoons for Gobelin tapestries. Poussin made many enemies in Paris. Jealousy from fellow artists and clashes of artistic ideals with his royal patrons put him under great pressure and in 1642 he asked the king for temporary leave to see his wife. Cardinal Richelieu died later that year and King Louis XIII passed away in early 1643. Poussin never returned to France.

Poussin's works of the 1640s and 1650s continued in the Greek and Roman genre he had developed before leaving for Paris. Now though the main theme concerned difficult moral choices, and times of personal crisis.

Nicolas Poussin's health began to decline from around 1660 and by 1665 he was unable to paint. His beloved wife Anne-Marie had died in 1665 and Poussin, heartbroken, did not survive her by very long. Poussin was buried in the church of San Lorenzo in Lucina.

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