Tambourines shake, wine spills, and half-naked figures whirl across the canvas in these paintings of revelry, dance and drama that are brought together in this first exhibition dedicated to Poussin and dance.
Poussin’s paintings of dance are unique. He brings to life the Classical world of gods and mortals with wild and riotous movement but, the chaos on the canvas does not reflect the meticulous and inventive process that allowed him to capture bodies in motion.
In this exhibition, Poussin’s paintings and drawings of dance will be shown alongside the antique sculpture he studied, inviting you to trace the evolution of his ideas from marble to paper to paint.
Poussin’s working methods will be fully revealed with the reconstruction of his quirky invention, the ‘grande machine.’ This studio tool was a model theatre of wax figurines which Poussin manipulated into different compositions, underscoring his role not only as painter of dance, but as choreographer in his own right.
Exhibition organised by the National Gallery, London and the Getty Museum, Los Angeles.