The Met Acquires Painting by Poussin on Copper

Posted in museums by Editor on January 23, 2022

Nicolas Poussin, The Agony in the Garden, 1626–27, oil on copper, 61 × 49 cm (New York: The Met, Gift of Jon and Barbara Landau, in honor of Keith Christiansen, 2021.378).

As reported by Art News (20 January 2022), The Met has recently acquired an exceptional work by Poussin on copper: Agony in the Garden (1626–27), from the collection of Barbara and Jon Landau, one of only two settled works on copper by the painter. As David Pullins notes in his catalogue entry for the piece, this is early Poussin when the artist was still working out his place within line-and-color debates, guided here particularly by the Venetian legacies of Titian and Tintoretto. The painting caught the attention of some of the most artistically attuned visitors to Rome in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including the Swedish diplomat count Nicodemus Tessin; the secretary to Rome’s Accademia di San Luca, Giuseppe Ghezzi; and the director of the Académie de France à Rome, Nicolas Vleughels. The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century provenance is also interesting as the painting moved from Rome to Paris, and then on to London through the American artist John Trumbull (it was part of the Trumbull sale at Christie’s in 1797). That said, the work was—as noted in the press release—rediscovered only in 1985, when it was “heralded as a major addition to Poussin’s corpus.” CH

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