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Nicolas Poussin: 'The Finding of Moses'

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To escape Pharaoh's order to kill Israelite boys Moses was placed in an ark of bullrushes upon the Nile. Here he is discovered by Pharaoh's daughter (in yellow), who is attended by her maidens and by the baby's sister Miriam (in white), who cradles the child. Old Testament (Exodus 2: 3-9).

Painted in 1651 for Monsieur Reynon, a silk merchant in Lyon, this is the latest and grandest of Poussin's three versions of the subject. The other two are in the Louvre, Paris. It may have been the pair to Poussin's 'Christ healing the Blind' (Paris, Louvre). The Gallery's picture once belonged to the Marquis de Seignelay, whose widow is portrayed in Mignard's portrait in the National Gallery ('The Marquise de Seignelay and Two of her Sons'), and later to Clive of India.

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