Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) was one of the masters of seventeenth century french classical painting.
He began his artistic training in Normandie before moving to Rome in 1624. Under the partronage of Cardinal Barbieri he quickly rose to success in Italy. He was a philosophical painter, in that he considered painting to be an art of the mind. His early subjects were historical, biblical and literary, Poussin was unconcerned with portraying the themes of everyday reality. In 1640 he was summoned to Paris to take on the role as painter to King Louis XIII, however he stayed for only two years before returning to Rome in 1642.
Later in his career Poussin’s paintings became more concerned with landscape, specifically an idealised landscape, with harmonious composition and great attention to detail and proportions, often elaborated by the addition of allegorical figures. These late landscapes convey a sense of man’s smallness in the face of nature’s grandeur. Upon his death in 1665 , Poussin was one of the most respected artists in Rome.