Studies of Antiquities (recto); Studies of Antiquities (verso) (Main View)

Nicolas Poussin

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Given his lifelong interest in <span class="text-link" onclick="javascript:link(26, 1368, event);">classical <span class="text-link" onclick="javascript:link(26, 1956, event);">antiquity, Nicholas Poussin repeatedly sketched the antique objects he saw in Rome. Except for the <span class="text-link" onclick="javascript:link(26, 1977, event);">Etruscan mirror in the top right, which dates from the 200s B.C., each object on this sheet is Roman, from various ancient eras.  
The careful study of the hexagonal tripod base, with its spare lines and precise details, hints at Poussin's adherence to the ancient classical conventions of architectural <span class="text-link" onclick="javascript:link(26, 1769, event);">perspective. He executed the draped torso and the sandaled foot with a similarly spare technique and attention to structure. He might have sketched the mirror from life, as it may have been in a Roman nobleman's collection, and he probably sketched the tripod in the upper left corner after a drawing in another collector's "Paper Museum." Finally, he sketched the figure of the young boy after a late Roman bust now in an English country house, capturing his bulla, a protective amulet worn by Roman children, with just a few tight lines and light brushes of <span class="text-link" onclick="javascript:link(26, 1545, event);">wash.  
The <span class="text-link" onclick="javascript:link(26, 1805, event);">verso presents more disparate objects: two <span class="text-link" onclick="javascript:link(26, 2390, event);">sphinxes, a woman carrying a vase, and an elaborate ornamental Roman ceiling <span class="text-link" onclick="javascript:link(26, 1733, event);">frieze.


  • Title: Studies of Antiquities (recto); Studies of Antiquities (verso) (Main View)
  • Creator: Nicolas Poussin
  • Date Created: about 1645
  • Physical Dimensions: 26.8 × 19.7 cm (10 9/16 × 7 3/4 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Pen and brown ink and brown wash (recto); Pen and brown ink, later red chalk framing lines (verso)
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 86.GA.467
  • Culture: French
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594 - 1665)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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