Blind Orion Searching for the Rising Sun

Nicolas Poussin French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 623

Classical myth provided Poussin with a pretext for one of his greatest landscapes, executed with staid precision in the minute brushstrokes that the artist adopted late in life. According to the ancient Greek writer Lucian, the blind giant Orion was directed towards the healing rays of the sun by Cedalion, seen here instructing him while standing on his shoulders. The earth’s vapors rise towards the moon—represented by a watchful Diana—and will return as rain, a meteorological subtext that illustrates the circulation of elements. This poetic painting was commissioned by Michel Passart, an important Parisian patron of landscapes by both Poussin and Claude Lorrain.

#5199. Blind Orion Searching for the Rising Sun

Blind Orion Searching for the Rising Sun, Nicolas Poussin (French, Les Andelys 1594–1665 Rome), Oil on canvas

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