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Nicolas Poussin, Landscape with Travellers Resting

Key facts
Full title Landscape with Travellers Resting
Artist Nicolas Poussin
Artist dates 1594 - 1665
Date made about 1638-9
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 63 × 77.8 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1970
Inventory number NG6391
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Landscape with Travellers Resting
Nicolas Poussin

A country track leads from the left foreground between two outcrops of tree-covered rocks, around a limpid pool and towards the distant mountains. In the foreground a man wearing a classical tunic rests by the side of the track. He looks towards a second man in the middle distance, who ties his sandal. In the background, a third man walks along the track beside the water.

This is one of Poussin’s earliest landscapes, painted in the late 1630s. He based this scene on the countryside around Rome where he is known to have drawn landscape studies, but at this stage in his career he had limited experience of landscape painting. Here, he tentatively created an ideal landscape by building up contrasting areas of dark and light and by highlighting these areas with the three figures, trees and rocks that lead our eye into the distance.

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