Landscape with a Calm (Un Tem[p]s calme et serein)

Nicolas Poussin1650–1651

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

In the late 1640s and early 1650s, at the height of his artistic maturity, Nicolas Poussin turned from historical narrative to landscape painting. Landscape with a Calm does not illustrate a story but rather evokes a mood. The ordered composition and clear, golden light contribute to A Calm's utter tranquility, while glowing, gem-like colors and fluid paint strokes enliven this scene of benevolent nature. Poussin's sketching campaigns in the Roman countryside with his friend and fellow landscape painter Claude Lorrain account, in part, for its fresh observation of cloud-scattered sky and grazing goats.

Poussin painted a pendant to this painting, Landscape with a Storm,now in a museum in Rouen. Together their contrasting weather effects embody nature's changing and unpredictable relationship with man. Poussin painted these works for the Parisian merchant Jean Pointel, a friend and a great collector of his landscape paintings.

Art + Ideas Podcast: T. J. Clark on Poussin


  • Title: Landscape with a Calm (Un Tem[p]s calme et serein)
  • Creator: Nicolas Poussin
  • Date Created: 1650–1651
  • Location Created: France
  • Physical Dimensions: 97 × 131 cm (38 3/16 × 51 9/16 in.)
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 97.PA.60
  • Culture: French
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594 - 1665)
  • Classification: Paintings (Visual Works)

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