Arts & Culture

Landscape with Saint John on Patmos

Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594–1665)1640

The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago

Nicolas Poussin spent almost his entire career in Rome, where he created a severe, archaeologically informed classical style that would be promulgated by the French Academy for successive generations of artists. Behind Poussin’s serene vision of antiquity was his belief, derived from ancient Stoic philosophy, in the Logos, a preexisting organizing spirit at the core of the universe. In this painting and its former companion piece, the "Landscape with Saint Matthew", now in Berlin, Poussin placed the evangelists and their symbols in a landscape given order by classical ruins, thereby suggesting a philosophical continuity between the Greco-Roman world and the new vision of Christianity. Both landscapes were painted just before Poussin returned to Paris as first painter to the king; he soon left this official post to resume his independent career in Rome.

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Details

  • Title: Landscape with Saint John on Patmos
  • Creator: Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594–1665)
  • Date Created: 1640
  • Physical Dimensions: 100.3 × 136.4 cm (39 1/2 × 53 5/8 in.)
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Media: Oil on canvas
  • Credit Line: The Art Institute of Chicago, A. A. Munger Collection, 1930.500
  • Artist: Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594–1665)

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