Study of a Palm Tree (recto); Mountain Landscape (verso)
Nicolas Poussin (French, Les Andelys 1594–1665 Rome)
Pen and brown ink, over traces of black chalk (recto); pen and brown ink (verso)
8 1/16 x 10 3/16 in. (20.5 x 25.8 cm)
Purchase, Guy Wildenstein Gift and Van Day Truex and Harry G. Sperling Funds, 2002
Not on view
This rare, double-sided sheet comprises two studies by Nicolas Poussin, a founding figure of the French grand manner. It is part of a small group of surviving landscape drawings, presumably made in plein air, that offer evidence that Poussin's classicizing landscapes were based on the direct observation of nature. On the recto is a study of a palm tree with lush foliage and rough bark. Detailed studies of individual landscape motifs are otherwise unknown in Poussin's oeuvre, though lone palm trees do occupy prominent positions in several of his paintings, where they serve to identify the setting as the Holy Land. On the verso, Poussin created an expansive landscape with a remarkable economy of means. Although the composition does not appear to be connected to an extant painting, the distant craggy peaks, the stand of trees to the right, and the tree used as a repoussoir on the left are all typical landscape elements in the artist's repertoire. Typical as well is the curving diagonal axis that leads the eye from foreground to middle ground.
Inscription: In pen and brown ink at lower left of recto: "N. Poussin"
Marking: Inscribed in pen and brown ink at lower right (recto), the collector's mark of Paul Fréart de Chantelou (1609-1694), Lugt 735.
Paul Fréart de Chantelou (1609–1694); Roland Fréart Sieur de Chambray (French, 1606–1676); Private Collection, Lausanne; Vendor: Galerie de Bayser, Paris
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 22, 2002–July 14, 2002.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions," October 24, 2008–February 1, 2009.
Carmen C. Bambach, Michiel C. Plomp, Colta Ives, Perrin Stein "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2001-2002." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 60, no. 2, Autumn 2002, pp. 20-1, ill.
Dominique Cordellier, Pierre Rosenberg, Peter Märker Dessins Français du Musée de Darmstadt XVIe, XVIIe, et XVIIIe Siècles. Exh. cat., Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt Graphische Sammlung. Montreuil, 2007, cat. no. under no. 126, fig. no. 1, p. 184, ill.
Richard Verdi "Exhibition Reviews: Poussin and Nature, Bilbao and New York." Burlington Magazine. London, April 2008, fig. no. 101, p. 284, ill.
Artist: Nicolas Poussin (French, Les Andelys 1594–1665 Rome)Date: ca. 1635–36Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over faint black chalk underdrawingAccession: 1998.225On view in:Not on view