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Nicolas Poussin

Nicolas Poussin (1594?–1665)
The Death of Hippolytus
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, over black chalk on paper
8 7/8 x 13 1/16 inches (224 x 332 mm)
Gift of J. P. Morgan Jr., 1924; I, 267
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »

An independent exploration of a theme that Poussin did not treat in a painting, the subject of this highly baroque sheet derives from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Cast out of Athens by his father after rejecting the advances of his stepmother, Hippolytus's chariot is menaced by a bull sent by Poseidon. After his chariot crashes and Hippolytus is dragged to his death, his friends attempt to regain control of the horses and disentangle the hero's body from the wreckage.

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.