Study for the Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite

Nicolas Poussinabout 1635

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Nicolas Poussin made this drawing as a study for the central group in a painting of the marriage of Neptune and Amphitrite, the god and goddess of the sea. It may show his initial steps in developing the final composition of the painting, commissioned by Cardinal Richelieu, an important art patron and chief minister for Louis XIII. Using simple oval forms for bodies and heads and lightly sketched limbs, Poussin worked out the spatial relationships among the figures. He changed the arrangement in the final painting but kept the two seated nymphs and the triton with a fluttering piece of drapery.

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  • Title: Study for the Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite
  • Creator: Nicolas Poussin
  • Date: about 1635
  • Location Created: France
  • Physical Dimensions: 14.6 x 20.6 cm (5 3/4 x 8 1/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Pen and brown ink
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Drawing
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 86.GA.470
  • Markings: Markings: (Recto) at bottom right, collection mark of Nathaniel Hone (L. 2793).
  • Inscription: Secondary Inscription: (Verso) fragment of a letter in brown ink.
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: French
  • Classification: Drawings