Nicolas Poussin, Triumph of Pan (1636) Oil on canvas, 53×57″ A Frenchman, Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) was the leading painter in Rome during the era of Baroque art from the early to mid 1600s, until he rejected the decorative and emotional style in Baroque so he could develop his own style that combined the values of the Renaissance with classical antiquity. If you’re looking at a Poussin and wondering if it’s early or late, his early Baroque works are from around 1627-1635, warmly toned and tending towards Greek and Roman mythology, his later Classical works are after 1640, are cooler in tone and tend to be sparsely populated in comparison, with Christian themes, and landscapes. Note: I’m not totally sure about the time frame on the themes in his paintings. Can any historians chime in here? Venus and Mercury (1627)The Abduction of the Sabine Women (1633–1634)A Dance to the Music of Time (1636)Holy Family (1649)The Exposition of Moses (1654)The Annunciation (1655-1657) Contrary to standard studio practice, Poussin did not make detailed figure drawings to prepare for a painting. Instead of starting with a drawing to plan his compositions, he made miniature wax figures and arranged them in a box that was open on one side like a theater stage. These served as models for his composition sketches, and did not include extensive figurative detail. He was not regarded as an elegant draughtsman, but was praised for his “rigour: there is never an irrelevant mark or a superfluous line.” (Pierre Rosenberg) Poussin’s work was cerebral. His goal was clarity of expression through design and color. Poussin influenced painters such as Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, and Paul Cezanne. Jacques-Louis DavidJean-Auguste-Dominique IngresPaul Cezanne What I enjoy exploring in Nicolas Poussin’s compositions are his use of motif, and visual pathways. Poussin’s motifs tend to be a recurring shape or angle that creates harmony, flow, and rhythm throughout the piece. Motif can also be used to help tell the story within the painting, as it refers one element with another. For example, in the Abduction of the Sabine Women, there is a repetition of diagonals, and within that repetition, many of those diagonals are arms reaching up for help, so each recurrence of that shape reinforces the narrative, like the chorus of a song. an example of a motif in a Poussinan example of one pathway (there are hundreds!) in a Poussin For pathways, I am continuously awed by the un-subtle effectiveness of how every element in a painting leads me somewhere. A fold of cloth connects to a leg, which takes me across a shadow and over to a belt, which takes me to … which takes me to… which takes me to…. You can’t stop looking at these paintings! Poussin didn’t invent pathways, he learned them from transcribing works by Raphael, Raimondi, Titian, and others, but Poussin used them with spartan clarity. To repeat the earlier praise, “never an irrelevant mark or a superfluous line.” Nicolas Poussin, Triumph of Pan (1636) Oil on canvas, 53×57″ Today’s TRANSCRIPTION Challenge: Make a transcription of Nicholas Poussin’s The Triumph of Pan. Media is artist’s choice. #triumphofpan Last week’s transcription challenge was Manet’s Luncheon on the grass. We found a wide range of creative responses. They might give you some ideas. Did you see some of the posts? Post it To be eligible for prizes (yes prizes!) at the end of the month, post your work to Instagram with #30sal and #triumphofpan so we can find your post. To find more followers for your page, you can cut/paste these to your post: #30sal #triumphofpan #poussin #baroque #classicalpainting #vnotes #creativechallenge #januarychallenge #drawingchallenge #drawing #art #sketch #artchallenge #artist #draw #artistsoninstagram #sketchbook #instaart #artwork #drawingoftheday #dailydrawing #oilpainting #mixedmedia #drawingsketch #artoftheday #creativity Padlet Don’t have Instagram? Post your work to Padlet. DAY 14: TRIUMPH OF PAN https://seattleartistleague.padlet.org/SAL/kr04aa7bsfsekk2j DAY 13: OP ART https://seattleartistleague.padlet.org/SAL/ky6dylz5wp7vi7uq DAY 12: GEORGE WASHINGTON https://seattleartistleague.padlet.org/SAL/ewht7nr1bszm24sy Deadline for Prizes Deadline for submissions: 3 days after each challenge post. January prize winners will be announced in February. To learn more about the 30SAL Challenge, click here.