Nicolas Poussin

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Nicolas Poussin
Man Pulling on his Stocking, and Other Figures Dressing
Pen and brown ink and wash on laid paper.
2 15/16 x 4 1/4 inches (74 x 108 mm)
Gift of Mrs. Jacob M. Kaplan in Honor of Frederick B. Adams, Jr., on the Occasion of his Retirement as Director of the Library.

Watermark: Circle?, fragment. Note double chain lines in beta radiograph showing lining paper.

Sale, London, Christie's, 22 November 1966 (according to Shickman catalogue); H. Shickman Gallery; Mrs. Jacob M. Kaplan.

Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Sixteenth Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1969-1971. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1973, p. 119.
Rosenberg, Pierre and Louis-Antoine Prat, "Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665. Catalogue raisonné des dessins", 2 volumes, Milan, 1994, I, no. 257, repr.


In this small study related to The Baptism of Christ in Poussin's second series of seven paintings devoted to the sacraments (1644-48; National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh), the artist articulated the massing of figures with the same loose pen strokes and broadly applied wash as in the study for Ordination (see III, 70). Here he explored a very specific moment in the narrative: after being anointed in the River Jordan, one figure pulls on his stockings, another bends to reach for his garment, and a third pulls on his shirt. A fourth, the first to have apprehended the descent of the Holy Spirit, turns and raises his hand to his head in surprise.

Associated names: 

Kaplan, Alice M., 1903-1995, former owner.

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