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Painting Title Portrait of Nicolas Poussin
Collection York Art Gallery
Artist Attributed to Bernini, Gian Lorenzo (Italian sculptor and draftsman, 1598-1680)
Date Earliest about 1628
Date Latest about 1629
Description A portrait head of the painter Nicolas Poussin as a young man, wearing a hat. The sitter is shown in a three-quarter pose, his head turning to the left of the canvas, while he looks to the right: the light falls from the right, casting a shadow to the left. The portrait is first recorded in a manuscript inventory of the Worsley collection at Hovingham Hall made in about 1770, as a self-portrait of Nicolas Poussin. The attribution to Bernini, now generally accepted, was proposed in 1960 by Sir Denis Mahon. The work is close in style to early works of Bernini; it is likely to date from 1628-29, when Bernini visited Poussin's studio. Gian Lorenzo Bernini was an Italian artist and a prominent architect, who worked principally in Rome. He was the leading Baroque sculptor, but he also painted, wrote plays, and designed metalwork and stage sets. Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) was the leading painter of the classical French Baroque style, and he spent most of his working life in Rome. His pictures shaped European art for generations.
Current Accession Number YORAG : 1502
Subject portrait (Nicolas Poussin)
Measurements 47.5 x 37.5 cm
Material oil on canvas on panel
Acquisition Details Purchased from William Worsley of Hovingham Hall through Simon C. Dickinson Ltd., London, with the aid of the National Art Collections Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Friends of York Art Gallery, York Civic Trust and the R.M. Burton Charitable Trust 2000.
Provenance By descent to William Worsely, Hovingham Hall, North Yorkshire, where since at least 1770.
Principal Exhibitions Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Institution Exhibition, York, 1866, no. 433 as by N. Poussin; A Loan Exhibition of French Painting of the XVIIth Century : in Aid of the Merchant Navy Comforts Service, Wildenstein & Co., London, 1947, no. 39 as by N. Poussin; Masterpieces from Yorkshire Houses, York, 1951, no. 34, as by N. Poussin; Effigies and Ecstasies. Roman Baroque Sculpture and Design in the Age of Bernini, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1998, no. 34; Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Regista del Barocco, Palazzo Venezia, Rome, 1999, no. 214; Berinini Pittore, Palazzo Barberini, Milan, 2007, no. 10.
Publications Blunt, A., ‘Poussin Studies – I:Self-Portraits', The Burlington Magazine, August 1947, No. 533, Vol. 89, p. 219; Mahon, D., ‘Poussin au Carrefour des annes trente', Actes du Colloque International Nicolas Poussin I, Paris, 1960, pp. 247-48, note 10; Blunt, A., The Paintings of Nicolas Poussin: A Critical Catalogue, vol. II, London 1966, cat. R1, p. 169; Blunt, A., Nicolas Poussin, London and New York 1967, p. 97; Fagiolo dell'Arco, M., Bernini, una introduzione al gran teatro del barocco1967, cat. 38; Effigies and Ecstasies. Roman Baroque Sculpture and Design in the Age of Bernini, Edinburgh, 1998, cat. 34, pp. 82-83 and 204; Bruno, S., Gian Lorenzo Bernini: Regista del Barocco, Milan, 1999, p. 435; Sutherland Harris, A., ‘Edinburgh Bernini and his Roman Contemporaries', The Burlington Magazine, September 1998, No. 1146, Vol. 140, p. 641; Mahon, D., Nicolas Poussin. I primi anni romani, Rome, 1998, pp. 27, 33, fig. 15; Green, R., ‘Important New Aqcuisition – A Bernini for York', News from the Friends of York Art Gallery, January 2001; Petrucci, F., Bernini pittore: dal disegno al 'maraviglioso composto', Rome, 2006, p. 334; Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. North Yorkshire, London, 2006, p. 240; Montanari, T.(ed.), Bernini Pittore, Milan, 2007, cat. 10, pp. 106-107.
Rights Owner York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery)
Author Dr Magdalena Łanuszka



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