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Last Supper Records of events that took place during the Last Supper differ considerably among four Gospels (washing of feet, arguments among apostles, institution of Lord's supper, etc.). The order of these events is important, for instance, to determine whether Judas was present when Jesus instituted Lord's Supper. Also, whether the dispute occurred before or after the washing of feet matters. What is the exact order of these events during the Last Supper? Jesus fortells one of the twelve will betray him. Jesus does not point out who the traitor is. Mark does not make it clear whether Judas was present when the Lord's Supper is Mark 14 instituted by Jesus. After the supper, Apostles go to Mount of Olives, singing a hymn. Before reaching Gethesemane, Jesus predicts Peter's denial. Matthew is more specific. Judas asks "Surely not I, Rabbi?" and Jesus replies, "You have said so." Again, Matthew does Matthew not make it clear whether Judas was present 26 when Jesus institutes the Lord's Supper. After the dinner, Apostles go to Mout Olivet singing a hymn. On the road, Jesus predicts Peter's denial, not at the supper. After the Lord's Supper is instituted, Jesus predicts one of them will betray him, but Luke does not mention the exchange between Judas and Jesus. Luke further writes (12:24) "A dispute also arose among Luke 12 them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest." But Jesus resolves it by saying, "rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves." Jesus washes Apostles feet and then predicts one of them will betray him. John skips the institution of the Lord's Supper. Jesus gives Apostles a new commandment to love one another and predicts Peter's denial before the meal ends. John 13 After the supper, Jesus explains he is leaving to "prepare a place." Next, he promises to send the Holy Spirit who will be with them forever. Jesus then delivers his last discourse, probably an hour long, to Apostles, in which Jesus says (i) "I am the true vine," (ii) the world will hate them, (iii) the Spirit will guide them to all truth, (iv) after he leaves, their pain will turn into joy, (v) he is going to the Father. After the last discourse, John records Jesus' first prayer for Apostles. Jesus prays Father to protect them, they may be one so that the world will know that Father has loved them, including those who will believe Apostles' words, as Father has loved Jesus. One of the earliest attempts to reconcile the four Gospels is Tatian's diatessaron (Greek: According to Four), which reshuffles the texts of the four Gospels so that the narrative may be in a more chronological order. Jesus rises from suppler and washes the feet Diatessaron of Apostles (Section 44), but this ritual occurs before the Last Supper. (Section 45) At the Last Supper, Jesus predicts one of them will betray him. Judas askes, "Can it be I?" and Jesus replies "You have said." Tatian then follows John's sequence of events, the last discourse and his prayer for Apostles. A Plausible Order of Events (1) A Dispute This dispute is likely to have taken place in among Apostles the absence of Jesus. Peter and John were sent to prepare for the Passover in John Mark's upper room or guestchamber. In the evening, Jesus and the twelve came in the evening. A dispute may have arisen among Apostles while Jesus was talking to the host. Judas is present. The main purpose is to teach Apostles to serve one another, insteading of arguing (2) Washing of who is the greatest. Salome earlier visited Feet Jesus and asked for preference, and this event may have touched off the dispute. Judas is present. In the course of the meal ("while they sat and did eat"), Jesus predicts Judas will betray him. When Judas asks, "Is it I?," (3) Judas' Jesus replies, "You have said." Later, he betrayal foretold encourages Judas to do quickly what he intended to do, and Judas leaves the upper room. Then Jesus institutes the Lord's Supper. They were eating bread and drinking wine a few times throughout the meal. (Wine First) (4) Lord's Jesus is likely to have started this only ritual Supper with the cup, and everyone drank from the same cup. This was then followed by his breaking of a loaf of bread, and giving it to each. Luke says Jesus took a cup, blessed and gave it to Apostles, saying "This is my blood," and then broke bread. In Mark, Matthew and Diatessaron, this sequence is reversed. Mark says "as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it." John skips it altogether, because his purpose was to supplement what is missing in the other Gospels. The most historically accurate rendition of the Last Supper is two of Nicholas Poussin's paintings. In terms of superb color and the mood depicted, the one in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinborough is superb. It is worth a special trip, if you really want to see the glory of what it was Nicholas like during the Last Supper. Poussin This painting from Olga's Gallery (http://www.abcgallery.com/P/poussin/pous sin35.html ) seems to be an earlier rendition, almost a practice. Nevertheless, this as well as the other in Edinborough accurately describes the furniture (tricline) and posture of the Apostles. Tricline is a Roman, squarish U-shaped divan or sofa. On the exterior of all three sides (hence tri) dining guests recline (hence cline). The open side is for servants to serve food, and in this painting the servant is leaving the room on the left side of the room. Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. Famous, but grossly inaccurate. Jesus and the Twelve reclined, unlike the Western people sitting at the table as in this painting. This table was not a Roman furniture. Meisters des Hausbuchs, Das Abentmahl. Again, the same type of mistake is made here. Notice, everybody, except Judas, has a halo around their heads. On the Arcadian Theme Copy of Nicholas Poussin's Et in Arcadia by Elsie Russell Net in Arcadia: The Virtual Museum of Contemporary Classicism "Et in Arcadia" is Nicolas Poussin's elegiac meditation on a Latin phrase found in Virgil's fifth eclogue that translates literally as "Even in Arcady, there am I," or "Death is even in Arcady," but has been interpreted in various ways through the ages. Erwin Panofsky treats the phrase, and Poussin's possible interpretation, in depth in his "Meaning and the Visual Arts." The inscription is discovered on a tomb by a group of shepherds and absorbs them in contemplation of the idea of mortality, a concept they seem to understand with Stoic resignation The term "Arcadian" has gone through many transformations through the ages as well. A native race of the wild hills of the Peloponnesos in southern Greece, the Arcadians were "a tribe older than the moon" certainly pre-dating the Dorian invasions, or "the birth of Jupiter" and the establishment of the Olympian Pantheon. According to Curtis N. Runnels in the March 1995 issue of Scientific American they may have inhabited the area as early as 50,000 years ago causing, through millennia of poor land management, the severe erosion that created the wasteland of dry shrubs and rocks we visit today. The popular term "Arcadian," describes a utopian garden paradise where serene pastoral folk drink, dance and lounge around in an endless summer. It is here in this untroubled land that Nicolas Poussin's shepherds first encounter the solemn reality that all things must pass. This atmosphere of nostalgia in Utopia has survived as the philosopher's definition of "Arcadia," leaving behind a vital and ancient tapestry of folklore. In the reality of mythological Arcadia there were many terrifying dangers, the least of which was death, for its vast population of nymphs, dryads, naiads, satyrs, fauns, Cyclops and lesser gods such as Pan and occasionally Dionysus. Perhaps it was these disenfranchised deities who brought with them the carpet of lush vegetation that transformed the rocky wasteland into the wild and crazy playground of Ovid's "Metamorphoses". In a sense, classical Arcadia was never a Utopia, and its character is as complex and mysterious as the human psyche. It may indeed be the place where the clear and rational Olympians banished those untamed and unnamable qualities, far from the ordered hierarchies needed by a dynasty of tyrannical sky-gods. Arcadia is then the anarchist state inhabited by uncontrollable misfits where Pan keeps vigil over his domain, scaring away rational beings with his unearthly howls and screeches. Maybe Poussin's painting has more of a lesson than even he realized. Death is not in Arcadia, because the wasteland of Arcadia, like the subconscious, like the moon, like cyberspace, is the realm of the imagination, where all things are possible. Elsie Russell 6/2/95 Back to Net in Arcadia: The Virtual Museum of Contemporary Classicism The Winter's Tale - Here are three paintings on pastoral themes, or on mythical themes associated with pastoral. One is earlier, two are later than Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. None is an illustration of the play, but each resonates with aspects of the play's images, ideas, scenes, sections of dialogue. Read the descriptions and click on the images to see the larger version. Briefly (two or three sentences should do it) relate an image in one of the paintings to a comparable feature of The Winter's Tale. E-mail your Workbook response to your preceptor, and use it as a stage in writing your Essay. Nicholas Poussin, Et in Arcadia Ego, 1630s The shepherds and shepherdess in this painting (1630s) by Nicholas Poussin have just come across a tombstone, on which they read the inscription, "Et in Arcadia ego." This can be translated as "I too am present in Arcadia" or " I am present even in Arcadia" (Arcadia is the traditional name for the idealized landscape of pastoral). The identity of the inscription's "ego" or "I" is made plain by the skull on top of the tombstone. (Click on the detail to see the inscription and the skull .) The shepherds react with shocked urgency to this revelation about the transitoriness of human happiness. Even in pastoral's ideal landscape, we are reminded of our mortal limits. (See posting , 12/1/97, on Newsgroup, from L. Danson.) Nicholas Poussin, A Dance to the Music of Time, 1639 Time (at the right of the painting, playing a lyre) makes the music to which the four figures dance. The dancers have been variously interpreted: as the four seasons, in their endless round, or as four states of human life. Two putti (little cherubic figures) sit in the foreground: one holds an hourglass, the other blows a bubble, indicating the ephemeral character of happiness. The statue at the far left is Janus, the two-faced Roman god. For our purposes, we might say that he suggests two different ways of thinking about Time: its passing tells us that all things, good and bad, come to an end; in its cyclical aspect, it is a dance, in which all things are harmonized. Botticelli, Primavera (c. 1482) Reading this great painting from right to left, we find Zephyr (the West Wind) transforming his bride,Chloris (the second figure on the right), into Flora (the third figure). Flora, associated with flowers and flowering, is springtime, Primavera, itself. Next to Flora is Venus with Cupid above her. This is the "good" Venus of harmony and married love (we know that from her matronly posture) rather than the "bad" Venus of lust. Next to her, dancing in an endless circle, are the Three Graces. The traditional figures have been variously interpreted: in Botticelli's painting they may represent Chastity (the one with her back to us), Beauty, and Pleasure. The Dance of the Three Graces can also be a figure of the harmonious circle of true generosity: giving, receiving, and giving again in the dance of reciprocity. The figure at the left is Mercury. It's hard to see, but he's got a wand (the "caduceus") and with it he is dispelling clouds that block Love's view of the highest ideal sphere. In this painting, the erotic power signified by Venus is harmonized with the yearly cycle and the fruitfulness of spring. Romulus was King of Rome 753-715 B.C. Most of what we know of the early history of Rome comes from Plutarch's Lives and Livy's History of Rome. They wrote much later and their stories are mixed with legend. How much is uncertain. It is clear that there were Kings in Rome and that they were not hereditary. They were chosen by the Comitia Curiata, a group of leaders in the community. This institution later developed into the Senate. The traditional dates for the Roman kings are almost certainly incorrect, and so dates will be omitted. Sometimes there are conflicting legends, though later Romans have attempted to reconcile them. One legend has it that before the founding of Rome there was a thriving city at Alba Longa, ruled by Kings. It was founded by the son of Aeneas, a survivor of the Trojan War, and the son of Venus and a highborn Trojan. It is in this city that the legendary founder of Rome, Romulus, and his brother Remus were born. Their grandfather Amulius was then king of Alban Longa. He was overthrown by his brother Numitor, who made Amulius's only child, a daughter, a Vestal Virgin to prevent her from having children (the Vestal Virgins were sworn to celibacy). Livy tells the story of the remarkable birth of Romulus and Remus: The Vestal was forcibly violated and gave birth to twins. She named Mars as their father, either because she really believed it, or because the fault might appear less heinous if a deity were the cause of it. But neither gods nor men sheltered her or her babes from the king's cruelty; the priestess was thrown into prison, the boys were ordered to be thrown into the river. By a heaven-sent chance it happened that the Tiber was then overflowing its banks, and stretches of standing water prevented any approach to the main channel. Those who were carrying the children expected that this stagnant water would be sufficient to drown them, so under the impression that they were carrying out the king's orders they exposed the boys at the nearest point of the overflow, where the Ficus Ruminalis (said to have been formerly called Romularis) now stands. The locality was then a wild solitude. The tradition goes on to say that after the floating cradle in which the boys had been exposed had been left by the retreating water on dry land, a thirsty she-wolf from the surrounding hills, attracted by the crying of the children, came to them, gave them her teats to suck and was so gentle towards them that the king's flock-master found her licking the boys with her tongue. According to the story, his name was Faustulus. He took the children to his hut and gave them to his wife Larentia to bring up. History of Rome, Book 1 When grown Romulus founded the city of Rome. Nicholas Poussin's Rape of the Sabine Women 1637 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) Livy tells another story about Romulus in the story of "The Rape of the Sabine Women." It seems that Romulus needed wives for the men who had joined his city. The Roman state had become strong enough to hold its own in war with all the peoples along its borders, but a shortage of women meant that its greatness was fated to last for a single generation, since there was no prospect of offspring at home nor any prospect of marriage with their neighbors. Then, in accordance with the decision of the senate, Romulus sent messengers to the neighboring peoples to ask for alliance and the right of marriage for the new people. . . But nowhere were the emissaries given a fair hearing. Some scorned, others feared the great power growing in their midst, both for themselves and for their descendants. . . Romulus, to gain time till he found the right occasion, hid his concern and prepared to celebrate the Consualia, the solemn games in honor of equestrian Neptune. He then ordered that the spectacle be announced to the neighboring peoples. He gave the event great publicity by the most lavish means possible in those days. Many people came, some simply out of curiosity to see the new city, and especially the nearest neighbor, from Caenina, Crustuminum and Antemnae; the entire Sabine population came, wives and children included. Received with hospitality in the houses, after having seen the position of the city, its walls, and the large number of buildings, they marveled that Rome had grown so fast. When it was time for the show, and everybody was concentrating on this, a prearranged signal was given and all the Roman youths began to grab the women. Many just snatched the nearest woman to hand, but the most beautiful had already been reserved for the senators and these were escorted to the senators' houses by plebeians who had been given this assignment. The Romans drove off the men, and took the women for their wives. The Sabine men did not give in so easily however. There was war between the Romans and the Sabines led by their king Titus Tatius. It was the women who finally brought peace to Rome. They persuaded their fathers not to fight their new husbands and the Romans accepted Titus Tatius as joint ruler with Romulus. Romulus disappeard one day in a thunder storm. He appeared in a vision to Julius Proculus who told him that he had ascended to the gods and was to be worshipped as Quirinus. Munificentissimus Deus The Dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary The Assumption of the Virgin, by Nicholas Poussin Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius XII issued November 1, 1950 1. The most bountiful God, who is almighty, the plan of whose providence rests upon wisdom and love, tempers, in the secret purpose of his own mind, the sorrows of peoples and of individual men by means of joys that he interposes in their lives from time to time, in such a way that, under different conditions and in different ways, all things may work together unto good for those who love him. 2. Now, just like the present age, our pontificate is weighed down by ever so many cares, anxieties, and troubles, by reason of very severe calamities that have taken place and by reason of the fact that many have strayed away from truth and virtue. Nevertheless, we are greatly consoled to see that, while the Catholic faith is being professed publicly and vigorously, piety toward the Virgin Mother of God is flourishing and daily growing more fervent, and that almost everywhere on earth it is showing indications of a better and holier life. Thus, while the Blessed Virgin is fulfilling in the most affectionate manner her maternal duties on behalf of those redeemed by the blood of Christ, the minds and the hearts of her children are being vigorously aroused to a more assiduous consideration of her prerogatives. 3. Actually God, who from all eternity regards Mary with a most favorable and unique affection, has "when the fullness of time came" put the plan of his providence into effect in such a way that all the privileges and prerogatives he had granted to her in his sovereign generosity were to shine forth in her in a kind of perfect harmony. And, although the Church has always recognized this supreme generosity and the perfect harmony of graces and has daily studied them more and more throughout the course of the centuries, still it is in our own age that the privilege of the bodily Assumption into heaven of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, has certainly shone forth more clearly. Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) Born in Les Andelys, Normandy, and active in Paris from 1612 to 1623, Poussin, like many European artists of his generation, was drawn to Rome. He arrived there in 1624 an unformed painter, but would become a central figure for the Roman and European art of his time—despite the fact that he defined himself against the prevailing Baroque tastes of his adopted city and steadfastly followed his own artistic path. Poussin brought a new intellectual rigor to the classical impulse in art, as well as a unique, somewhat reticent poetry. His sensitivity to the nuances of gesture, design, color, and handling, which he varied according to the theme at hand, permitted him to bring a very focused expression to his art and to create for each narrative a memorable and enduring form. The wide range of his oeuvre includes scenes of subdued tenderness, bacchic revelry, mourning, righteous civic virtue, and other more difficult to identify states of mind or being. In Rome, Poussin was welcomed into the lively group of intellectuals centered around Cassiano dal Pozzo, the remarkable archaeologist, philosopher, and naturalist employed by the Barberini family. Cassiano became Poussin's close friend and patron, as well as a link to other well-placed collectors. His intense curiosity about the lives and thought of the early Greeks and Romans, and his dedication to recording the monuments of their civilization, would exert a strong influence on the young painter. In 1628, with Cassiano's help, Poussin received his only papal commission. The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus, painted for the Church of Saint Peter (now Vatican Museums)—one of his largest and most Baroque compositions—was coolly received, and was followed by the loss of an important commission for the church of San Luigi dei Francesi. At this point it became clear to Poussin that he would not be sought out to decorate the churches and palaces of Counter-Reformation Rome, and that this was not, in fact, where his real strength lay. The large, theatrical saints in ecstasy and scenes of apotheosis so popular at the time clearly struck no responsive chord in Poussin, and with remarkable vision and determination he set off in his own direction. Within the circle of Cassiano and for a small group of discerning patrons in France, he gradually developed an audience for the paintings of relatively modest size— rationally ordered, subdued, often exquisitely poetic works—for which he is now so well known. Poussin's Subject Matter A man of extraordinary learning and intellectual sophistication in his own right, Poussin played a significant role in the choice of subject for many of his private commissions. Some are themes of his own invention or subjects that no previous artist chose to depict; frequently his paintings carry a moral or philosophical message, or draw attention to man's precarious position in the universe. They are inspired by Ovid's Metamorphoses, ancient history, certain stories from the Old Testament, and—late in his career—the seven Sacraments (The Confirmation, from the series of The Seven Sacraments, Collection of the Duke of Rutland, Belvoir Castle) conceived within the early Christian church. Toward the end of his life, he would create a group of transcendent landscapes with Stoical themes, including four paintings representing the Seasons, now in the Louvre, Paris. All of these subjects he painted with extraordinary empathy and near-identification. Although they might suggest conflicting systems of belief—Pagan, Jewish, Christian, Stoic, Pantheistic—Poussin seems to have taken on each type of narrative as an even-handed, respectful interpreter, representing each as a product of human culture and history and of our essential need to create order out of what might seem chaos. These pictures appear to be about "faith" as a phenomenon as much as they are about a particular faith. Early Works During his first years in Rome, Poussin sampled many different artistic styles, but he chose his influences carefully. He was clearly impressed by the paintings of the great Venetian colorist Titian (ca. 1488–1576), as well as by the friezes he found on Greco-Roman tombs. The wonderful little Rest on the Flight into Egypt (1997.117.6) may date as early as 1627 and reveals a clear debt to Titian. The playful horde of putti, the highly keyed reds, blues, and whites of the Virgin's robe, and the intensely blue sky—as well as the optimistic spirit of the picture as a whole—reveal Poussin's admiration for Titian's Bacchanals, then in the Aldobrandini collection in Rome. What Poussin brings to the picture that we would not expect to find in a similar work by Titian is its intimacy (due in part to the small scale) and a very tender poetry. The first painting by Poussin to be acquired by an American museum, Midas Washing at the Source of the Pactolus (1624; 71.56), is one of many works by the artist inspired by Ovid's Metamorphoses. The painterly handling is typical of Poussin's earlier works and a stark contrast to the cleanly drawn and regimentally ordered pictures from his middle years such as The Abduction of the Sabine Women (ca. 1633–34; 46.160). The composition of the Midas is beautifully and subtly laid out; it is deeply satisfying but does not call attention to itself. The same can be said for the picture's subdued palette and fluid brushwork. In comparison to the dazzling altarpieces of his Baroque contemporaries, this painting is a "soft sell," and reveals the independence of Poussin's eye and mind. The story of Midas, the unfortunate king who asked Bacchus that all he touched be turned to gold, carries with it the aura of the earth at an earlier stage of development so common in Poussin's mythological scenes, but also suggests—in its questioning of material wealth—the Stoicism that figures prominently in the artist's later work and that was a true reflection of his character and way of life. Tasso's epic poem about the Crusades, Gerusalemme Liberata (Jerusalem Liberated), completed in 1575, was the source for a group of Poussin's canvases from the early 1530s. These paintings have the gentle, otherworldly quality of a fairy tale—in spite of the fact that for Poussin, the appeal of the subject seems to have been the conflict between pleasure (or enchantment) and duty (the Crusades). In The Companions of Rinaldo (1977.1.2), a picture once owned by Cassiano dal Pozzo, Rinaldo is out of sight in the lair of the sorceress Armida, and his companions, Carlo and Ubaldo, have come to rescue him from temptation and recall him to duty and more manly adventures. They have been ferried to the "Fortunate Isles" in the exotic little boat in the background, modeled after a similar vessel the artist must have known from a Roman sarcophagus. Their movements are exquisitely graceful, yet somehow tentative (they are hardly figures of impulsive determination), and the startling blue and copper of their costumes adds to the richness of their characterization. These fine young men, like so many of Poussin's figures, seem to be poised for all time just so, frozen in pursuit, and this is part of their poignant charm. Middle Years It was not unusual for the artist to paint several versions of a subject, rethinking the composition and the expressive quality of the picture in the process; this was the case with Poussin's two paintings of The Abduction of the Sabine Women (ca. 1633), which have been described as scenes of "subdued mayhem." Both paintings, with their powerfully opposing diagonals, are examples of the vigorous and assertive style that Poussin adopted for many of his scenes from ancient history. In what appears to be the earlier version (ca. 1633–34; 46.160), in the Metropolitan Museum, he has dispersed the figures in several friezelike planes parallel to the foreground, and the architecture seems to stop the eye from moving back into the distance. In the version in the Louvre, from about 1637, the artist draws our eye into the distance with diagonals created by the architecture on the right, and he has taken pains to develop groups of figures here and there that introduce random diagonal elements into the center of the composition and bring a breath of fresh air to the tightly structured scene. It was to aid in the creation of such complex and carefully organized narratives that Poussin probably used the small stages with wax figures and painstakingly arranged draperies described by his contemporaries. Later Works Poussin may well have used such a stage to plan the rigorous composition of Saints Peter and John Healing the Lame Man (24.45.2), a painting from about 1655 that shows the artist responding to the imposing and solid classicism of Raphael's The School of Athens, a fresco of 1509 for the Stanza della Segnatura (Vatican, Rome). Raphael's masterpiece was the source for a compositional type that Poussin returned to again and again, manipulating the conventions of classical art: the draped figures, rhetorical gestures, and architecture. Here these components are pared down to their most minimal, unadorned aspect. In a mute performance, the figures sit, stand, turn from and face us, gesturing expressively as they enact the narrative. With each painterly adjustment or formal decision, however, we sense the remarkable authority and spirit of invention that the artist brings to the sometimes rigid confines of the classical idiom. The intense blues, golds, and oranges employed here were inspired by the highly saturated colors discovered in Roman wall paintings by contemporary archaeologists. Blind Orion Searching for the Rising Sun (24.45.1), from 1658, is among Poussin's late masterpieces, and intuitive rather than systematic in design. The artist appears to have surrendered control and lapsed momentarily in his love of order and geometry, permitting his imagination to lead him. There is, nevertheless, a sureness to the composition that reveals the master hand and mind at work. Poussin apparently followed Natalis Comes's sixteenth-century commentary on the story of Orion, which gives a meteorological interpretation of the myth. Beyond the specific roles played by the main characters—the giant Orion, Cedalion on his shoulders, and Diana in the clouds—the image of a blind and clearly vulnerable giant feeling his way across a vast primeval landscape with the aid of several benevolent smaller figures is extraordinarily touching. We know that he will find the rising sun and regain his sight with their help. In the midst of a pagan landscape, there is a sense that, beyond the myth of Orion, we may also be dealing with something approximating a vision of earthly as opposed to heavenly salvation, or the struggle of each individual human being to find his way. Poussin's sight was weakening during the years he produced his late landscapes, and they have an almost pointillist technique, which is particularly well suited to their subject matter. Understanding Poussin In a letter to his close friend and patron Paul Fréart de Chantelou, Poussin instructs us in appreciating his art. After hearing of Chantelou's disappointment when he compared a more sober canvas he had just received from the artist with a more sensuous and pleasing painting Poussin had made for another French collector, the artist patiently explained to him that various subjects made different demands on an artist, and required very different expressive means to properly fulfill them. Just as the Greeks created "Modes" to write music with a different spirit or mood for different contexts, Poussin tells his friend, so he, in a similar manner pursued his art, always seeking the design, handling, and formal means appropriate to a given subject. From such remarks developed the "Theory of the Modes" that has been linked with Poussin's name since the seventeenth century, and which helps us to understand his artistic process. These remarks also reveal Poussin's unusual self-awareness and his tendency to be analytical where his work was concerned. Sometimes associated with an uncompromising, almost ascetic formalism, Poussin's art is, in fact, a marriage of poetry and reason, sensibility and intellect, a balance of two aspects of one character. Sometimes they sit comfortably together in a finished work. Sometimes, in a particular painting, intellect or sensibility might prevail to a lesser or greater degree, not with unhappy consequences. We may even sense, in his more austere or sober productions, a renunciation: of elegy, tenderness, the world of the senses. One looks to these paintings as much to read the extraordinary character of their creator, as for their beauty and interest as works of art. Poussin's paintings would have a profound influence on many later artists, in particular such classical and classicizing painters as Jacques-Louis David, Paul Cézanne, and Pablo Picasso. Joshua Joshua, son of Nun, was Moses’ young assistant. Exodus (17: 8-16) tells the following story: “The Amalekites came and attacked Israel at Rephidim.” Moses ordered Joshua to lead the men into the battle. Joshua did as Moses commanded and "defeated Amalek and put its people to the sword.” After the death of Moses, Joshua took the leadership over Israelites and led his people to take the lands, which God had promised to Israel. These events are described in The Book of Joshua. "Many battles had the Israelites before they could settle in the Promised Land." One of the battles, the battle and victory over Amorites, is described in The Book of Joshua (10). "The five Amorite kings, the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon, advanced with their united forces to take up position for the attack on Gibeon." (Joshua 10:5). And the Lord said to Joshua, 'Do not be afraid; I have delivered these kings into your hands, and not one of them will be able to withstand you.' (Joshua 10:8). And Joshua spoke to the Lord and asked Him to keep the sun in the sky until the end of the battle. And "the sun stayed in middleheaven and made no haste to set for almost a whole day. never before or since has there been such a day as that on which the Lord listened to the voice of a mortal. Surely the Lord fought for Israel!" (Joshua 10:13-14). After a night march, Joshua launched a surprise assault on the five kings, and the Lord threw them into confusion before the Israelites. They started to flee through a mountain pass, and the Lord hurled great hailstones at them out of the sky. That day victory was complete, and the Israelites conquered the whole region of the Amorites - "the hill country, the Negeb, the Shephelah, the watersheds - and all its kings." (Joshua 10:40). The Plague at Ashdod By 1630, Poussin was moving towards the uncompromising statements about the moral condition of humanity that were to characterize his work. In that year he painted the Plague of Ashdod (Louvre, Paris), which sets the style and mood of his work for the next five years. The figures are interlocked in an extremely complex composition which appears somewhat disorganized; in depicting the Old Testament theme, in which the spectator is spared none of the horror, Poussin was trying to achieve accuracy. The following year he painted the Empire of Flora (Dresden, Gemäldegalerie), a more cheerful subject but with a similarly interlocking frieze of figures. It is round these two pictures, datable through documents, that the rest of Poussin's pictures supposedly painted around 1630 have to be grouped. Nicolas Poussin’s The Seven Sacraments The first thing you notice about this painting is how dark it is. Most other renditions of this event are bright and vibrant, but I think the darkness does two things. 1. Shows the reality of a supper in that time when there were no street lights, etc. 2. Gives an ominous feeling to the setting. This is appropriate as this was a foreshadowing of the gruesome crucifixion about to occur the next day. I really like this touch. Second, I love the majestic yet solemn glow emanating from the lamp. It draws your eyes straight to the Christ figure, who is seated with a very royal posture. As the others around the table are all reclining - another excellent grasp of how the actual supper would have looked - Jesus' upright posture makes Him stand out among the others. The lighting makes Him glow and highlights His majesty all the more. It's somewhat subtle, yet effective. Finally, if you didn't count, there are only 11 disciples around the table. Judas is sneaking out on the left. Hence, Jesus had probably just announced that He was about to be betrayed. Judas sneaks out to get the job done. If this is the setting, then it explains the looks of horror and melancholy displayed on the disciples' faces. I was taken aback by sad, sullen, and surprised looks on their faces, especially the two to Christ's right, who I presume to be Peter and John. I think that's a perfect touch. It was hard to stand in this room, looking at this painting and the six around it, and not feel a sense of reverence. The mighty, merciful, and horrific acts God has performed on our behalf were loudly proclaimed in that little room. Our God is an awesome God, and whenever something remind me of that, especially something with this amount of beauty and solemnity, I can't help but pause in silent prayer. I think that is the point of religious art, to point you towards the One who created and transcends such beauty. For Paris intellectuals Poussin produced during the ten years after his return to Rome the paintings which were regarded in his own time as his most perfect, and which are now considered to be among the purest embodiments of French classicism. To this group belong the second series of Sacraments, executed for Paul Fréart de Chantelou, a civil servant, between 1644 and 1648. The second series of Sacraments have a solemnity wholly lacking in the more picturesque first series. This is perhaps most apparent in the Eucharist, one of Poussin's most severe compositions. The scene is set in a room of the utmost simplicity, without ornament, and articulated only with plain Doric pilasters. The apostles are shown lying on couches round the table and are dressed in Roman togas. The artist has chosen a moment which enables him to combine the two main themes which the subject involves: the dramatic and the sacramental. Christ has given the bread to the apostles and is about to bless the cup, but on the left of the composition we see the figure of Judas leaving the room. That is to say, Poussin represents primarily the institution of the Eucharist, but at the same time reminds the spectator of Christ's words: 'One of you shall betray me'. The double theme is made even clearer in the actions of the apostles, which are defined with great precision. Some are engaged in eating the bread, others show their realization of the significance of what is taking place by gestures of astonishment, while St John's expression of sorrow shows that he is thinking of Christ's words about Judas. Formally Poussin has concentrated his group into a symmetrical relief pattern. His choice of a low view-point has enabled him to foreshorten the front apostles, so that they form a compact group with those on the other side of the table. This is one of the first set of Sacraments, painted for Cassiano dal Pozzo. The picture was the last of the set to be completed, and is quite unlike the other surviving five. Almost as soon as he arrived in Rome, Poussin was fortunate enough to come into contact with the scholarly and benevolent Cassiano dal Pozzo, who was to be his patron for the next thirty years until his death in 1657. Their relationship in its early years seems to have consisted mainly of Pozzo collecting a number of Poussin's first works, almost out of charity for the struggling young artist, as the pictures were indeed of modest pretensions. In the later 1630s the catalyst for a development towards an extreme was undoubtedly Cassiano dal Pozzo, who commissioned Poussin to paint his first set of Sacraments. The dates of execution for this first set are unknown, but they were not completed until 1642, when the final one was sent by Poussin from Paris to Rome. Cassiano owned a Poussin executed in the late 1630s, a Baptism of Christ now in the Getty Museum at Malibu, and it may well have been this carefully calculated composition which spurred Cassiano on to commission Poussin to create the Sacraments, one of the most important single commissions of his career. The seven pictures, though executed over several years, were intended to be seen together, presumably in a relatively small room. Five of them - Marriage, Extreme Unction, Confirmation, Ordination and Eucharist - are now at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, hung in different places in the house; the sixth, Baptism, is in the National Gallery of Art, Washington; and the seventh, Penance, was lost in the fire which destroyed Belvoir in 1816. It is difficult to know whether Poussin worked out his artistic theories after he had solved his problems on canvas, or whether he thought in the abstract and tried to prove his point by painting to a chosen formula. Whatever the explanation, the result was an extremely cerebral approach, epitomized by this first set of Sacraments. In spite of his great rigidity of theory, and in spite of some very dry pictures in which there seems to be little feeling of any kind, a surprisingly large number of Poussin's best pictures are tense with emotion. This is nowhere better seen than in the first set of Sacraments: it is as if all Poussin's energies and ideas are concentrated in these relatively small canvasses. The Sacraments, a microcosm of Poussin's art, reveal his working methods. It is known that he kept a small box rather like a miniature theatre, in which he arranged wax models and altered the lighting in order to help him with the layout of his complex compositions. He then made numerous rough drawings, trying out the compositions until the final solution was reached. It is easy to see that all the interior scenes of the Sacraments are arranged like a theatrical tableau, which gives them their curiously static quality and enhances their gravity. 1. 1594 1594 - Nicolas Poussin and his adopted pupil-brother-in- law, Caspar Dughet, are to be seen in the sixth cabinet. Nicolas Poussin was born in 1594, and is among the earliest Frenchmen of note. The story of his life is well known: how he went to Rome, married a girl who ... Show more From The Art of the Dresden Gallery, Notes and Observations Upon the Old … - Related web pages books.google.com/books?id=VlaCEL2mD8EC&pg ... 3. 1612 1612 - Nicolas Poussin: The father of French Classical painting, Nicolas Poussin settled in Paris in 1612. He studied under various painters but his primary influence were the paintings and engravings of Raphael and his school and Roman statuary and reliefs housed in the royal ... From Frederick Christian Lewis - Nicolas Poussin's Bacchanalia - Related web pages www.artoftheprint.com/artistpages ... 5. 1624 1624 - 'Nicolas Poussin had wasted no time in the development of his gift before he reached Rome, in 1624. Travel from city to city in France, study under 30 NICOLAS POUSSIN Flemish and French artists, acquaintance with courtiers, amateurs, and an Italian poet ... Show more From Full text of "Nicolas Poussin : his life and work" - Related web pages www.archive.org/stream ... 7. 1630 1630 - He became associated with Nicolas Poussin (whose surname he adopted) at an early age because Poussin married Gaspard's sister, Anne-Marie Dughet, in 1630. It is assumed that Gaspard was taught to paint by his illustrious brother-in-law in the early 1630s, in ... Show more From Duplessis Joseph Siffrein Oil Painting Reproduction Tamsquare Art - Related web pages www.tamsquare.com/artist/Duplessis-Joseph ... 9. 1640 1640 - In 1640, as part of a programme to initiate a new school of court artists, Richelieu summoned Nicolas Poussin, the most renowned French painter of the day, to Paris, and in the next year commissioned him to paint two pictures for the Grand Cabinet of the Palais ... Show more From The World of the Favourite - Related web pages books.google.com/books?id=X_m0duZWftcC&pg=RA2 ... 11. 1642 1642 - French Baroque painter Nicolas Poussin begins work on his series of "Seven Sacraments," completed in 1642. Poussin's rational classicism influenced pictorial classicism. Pietro da Cortona's ceiling fresco in the Barberini Palace, Rome, imagines a sculptural ... Show more From A Timeline of Vermeer's Life - 1632-1640 Childhood - Related web pages www.essentialvermeer.com/timelines ... 13. 1657 1657 - After studying with French painter Simon Vouet, Mignard worked for 21 years in Italy, his style based on that of French painter Nicolas Poussin. He returned to Paris in 1657. His portraits have a mannered elegance; for example, Madame de Montespan (Troyes) and Marquise de ... From Pierre Mignard - MSN Encarta - Related web pages encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_762506427 ... 15. 1665 1665 - Coincidentally, in 1665, the same year in which Nicolas Fouquet was imprisoned, Nicolas Poussin died. For the next twenty years, King Louis jockeyed for possession of what he regarded as Poussin's most important work: The Shepherds of Arcadia. When he finally ... Show more From TRACYRTWYMAN.COM » Nicolas Poussin and Nicolas Fouquet - Related web pages tracyrtwyman.com/blog/?page_id=53 17. 1748 1748 - The marble tablet, commissioned in 1748, features a carved image of a painting by French 17th century artist Nicolas Poussin, with the letters "DOUOSVAVVM" underneath. According to popular legend, the code revealed the whereabouts of the Holy Grail, in ... Show more From Mysterious code finally cracked - Related web pages www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/11/26 ... 19. 2008 Feb 17, 2008 - Perhaps it's my mood or the frigid time of year, but the message I received from the Met's new show of Nicolas Poussin landscapes is that death lurks ... Simply imitating topographies of fields and flowers didn't interest Nicolas Poussin, who wanted to elevate and enhance what he saw. ... From … death lends a dark tone to the landscapes of Nicolas Poussin at the Met - Related web pages pqasb.pqarchiver.com/newsday/access/1430354641 ... Nicolas Poussin: The Death of Germanicus Some critics consider The Death of Germanicus (painted in 1627, in France, hanging in the The Minneapolis Institute of Arts), Nicolas Poussin’s early masterpiece. The painting presents a linear, barelief-like scene with several emotional pivots, all induced by the death of the Roman general (read full Britannica article on Germanicus Julius Caesar). Lying on the bed and enshrouded in white, he is immediately recognized; the ghastly greenish tone of his face implies poisoning, the most probable cause of death according to historians. The Death of Germanicus, 1627 Nicolas Poussin Buy From Art.com Heroic gestures and stoic facial expressions, including that of Germanicus himself, decide the emotional current of the central scene, where the general and his officers are having a last words moment. Two less forceful, though just as passionate scenes, enframe the central act with poignant resignation and sorrow – and diffuse the intensity in the center. Each of the groups contains its own dynamic and emotive tone; the women and the children near the bedside are particularly notable for adding a shade of naïve surprise (by the children) and compassion. The resulting visual-emotional scheme of an enclosed A-B-A structure provides compositional harmony and completeness. Both eventually translate into an aesthetic quality. Nicolas Poussin, Self-Por… Nicolas Poussin Buy From Art.com Pikes play manifold roles in the composition. Bursting from the single-block group of mourners, they resemble, as a visual metaphor, solar ejections: the telling signs of the tremendous heat and pressure within. On the other hand, their sharp and edgy tips also become a sublimation of the suffering below – and yet the same instruments deal and bring death, the very same theme of the painting. The slender shafts may further allude to the precariousness of the future political situation (which, once again, is decided by the same spears). Finally, the way they pierce the space above the legionnaires is abstractly suggestive of the inflicted pain on the dying man. Apollo in Love with Daphne, 1664; Pou… Nicolas Poussin Buy From Art.com The spacious and hollow grandeur of the interior seems to alienate itself from the tragic proceedings. But, this empty monochrome space calmly overseeing the scene also adds a touch of objectivity necessary to bring out the historical significance of Germanicus’ death – or, indeed, its historicity on the whole. Poussin (read Britannica full article on Nicolas Poussin) is known to had deliberately replicated ancient costumes, furniture and architecture. By giving these props a special attention in this painting he reminds us of the strict factual data – the time and era of the depicted occurrence – which may have become blurred in the emotionality and the chamber-intimate atmosphere (perhaps echoing Rembrandt) immediately inside the crowd. Nicolas Poussin: Gathering of Manna Gathering of Manna is a large scale mythological painting (hanging in Louvre Museum, Paris) that conveys the dramatic force of the biblical divine act of the distribution of the Manna. The canvas aims to depict an entire people by showing groups of representative actors of both sexes and all ages. In a way, the scene is a rare occurrence: everyone is an active participant, as everyone must participate in order to survive; there is no room for psychological ambivalence. By choosing a theme with a secured engrossing dramatic impulse, Poussin might have attempted to explore pantheistic and holistic ideas (and ideals) of the relationship of all humanity with God. The Gathering of Manna is a unique case of reverse offering, which reinforces the symbiotic nature of that relationship. The Gathering of Manna, circa 1637-9 Nicolas Poussin Buy From Art.com The people are divided into several groups, each including actors that either collect, wonder, examine, or even fight for the Manna. The most consistently reappearing sentiment is of praising God with a characteristic thankful folding of the hands. By showing a range of emotions and activities Poussin credibly anchors a divine act in concrete reality and action. Regardless of what the people are doing, they are busy, and even the expressions of surprise seem as a matter-of-fact, inevitable reactions; this is a drama but not a melodrama. The Gathering of Manna, c… Nicolas Poussin Buy From Art.com Contrasts of small and enormous – more concretely of people and nature around them – constitute the “engine” of the scene. Most contrasts consist of oppositions of color – the small bright red patches of the cloaks and the dark, spreading ambiance, and of form – small human figures against oversized landscape masses of stones and trees. The red spots also refer to blood, and the fragility of human life – as opposed to the sombre, immovable and imperious landscape masses. It becomes obvious that the life of the depicted people (and life itself) is at the mercy of nature – and God, as the bible narrates. Gathering of the Manna, f… Dieric Bouts Buy From Art.com Interestingly, Poussin makes the Manna almost invisible (minuscule white dots), effectively forcing many of the actors to grab air. This method of depicting the Manna may have several interpretations and meanings. First, this could be an ironical/parody device that expresses doubts in the miracle. Second, this (the entire painting) could be a test of the viewers’ faith – did the Israelites themselves imagine the whole thing, did the bible say the truth, or, perhaps, is it the viewers who cannot discern the Manna, but must believe? Third, this simply could be an ingenious pictorial solution to portray a substance of which was, and still is, little known. Nicolas Poussin Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), one of the greatest French painters, rationally synthesized the diverse tendencies of French and Italian art. His work is a salient example of lucid control by the mind over the senses. The art of Nicolas Poussin is a visual record of progression from the chaos of youth to self- awareness, from self-control to intellectualism, and from wisdom to harmony. In the 19th century Paul Cézanne conferred the ultimate tribute: "Every time I come away from Poussin I know better who I am." Poussin was born in the hamlet of Villers near Les Andelys, Normandy, in June 1594. His father, who had certain claims to ancient but minor nobility, came from Soissons; he was a military man turned farmer. His mother was the widow of a lawyer, and Nicolas was destined for the law. The boy, who knew Latin from childhood, received a sound education until he was 18. His proclivity for art provoked the disapproval of his parents, and in 1612 the presence of Quentin Varin, a minor mannerist painter, in the neighborhood occasioned Poussin's flight from home. After a brief sojourn with the painter Noël Jouvenet in Rouen, Poussin went to Paris, where the patronage of a young nobleman from Poitou enabled him to frequent the studios of the portraitist Ferdinand Elle and the mannerist painter Georges Lallemand. About 1614 his noble friend took Poussin home to his château in Poitou, but his patron's mother did not like the alliance, and the artist departed on foot, reaching Paris exhausted and ill from malnutrition. After a year's rest with his family at Les Andelys, Poussin returned to Paris to begin a productive career. Except for a trip to Florence about 1620-1621 and another to Lyons shortly thereafter, Poussin spent the years between about 1616 and 1624 establishing his position in Paris. He studied architecture, perspective, and anatomy; the mannerist frescoes of Francesco Primaticcio at Fontainebleau; antique sculpture; and the High Renaissance paintings of Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, and Titian and the engravings of Giulio Romano. He frequented intellectual and artistic circles and met the Italian poet Giambattista Marino, for whom he executed a series known as the Massimi drawings. Poussin received commissions from the Jesuit Collège de Clermont in Paris and Notre Dame in Paris. When he left for Rome in 1624, he was a mature artist. On the way he stopped in Venice, where the works of Titian and Paolo Veronese profoundly influenced him. Works, 1624-1630 Between 1624 and 1630 Poussin's life was characterized by professional vicissitudes and artistic experimentation. He vacillated, though always brilliantly, between his Paris style, based upon the study of Giulio Romano and antique sarcophagi (Victory of Moses, 1624-1626), the current Roman baroque style of Pietro da Cortona (Madonna del Pilar), the Venetian High Renaissance style of Veronese (Marriage of St. Catherine) and Titian (The Inspiration of the Poet), and the realistic style of Caravaggio (Massacre of the Innocents). The conspicuous success of this period was the Martyrdom of St. Erasmus (1628-1629) for an altar in St. Peter's. In spite of the patronage of the Barberini family, the confusion resulting from Poussin seeking his own style among the multiple possibilities afforded him in Rome and the fierce competition of Italian, Flemish, and French artists resulted in another illness. After being nursed back to health in the house of the French pastry cook Jacques Dughet, he married the daughter Anne Marie in 1630. Poussin decided to abandon the field of official commissions, and from then on he devoted himself exclusively to the execution of small cabinet pictures, fastidious in workmanship, for a private and cultivated clientele. Works, 1630-1640 In the 1630s friendship with Cassiano dal Pozzo, amateur of the antique, led Poussin into a milieu of modest but genuine scholars. At this time his concern was poetical, focused upon the dramatic themes of Tasso (Rinaldo and Armida) and the melancholy of Ovid (Arcadian Shepherds). Between 1633 and 1637 his subject matter shifted to the pageantry of the Old Testament (Adoration of the Magi), mythology (Bacchanals for Cardinal Richelieu, and ancient history (Rape of the Sabines, two versions). During this time the coloristic fluidity of Titian, which had characterized Poussin's previous period, gave way to a statuesque plasticity of figure style, recalling Raphael's Mass of Bolsena. Compositions were oriented parallel to the picture plane and delineated by a controlled, linear perspective. Between 1637 and 1640 this rational tendency increased. Poussin used various pictorial methods of painting to elicit a specific response in the educated observer, trained to understand his expressive purpose in any given work. These were the ancient Greek and Roman modes. His earlier works had been mainly in the Hypolydian mode for joyful subjects of divine glory and paradise and the lonic mode for festive, bacchanalian subject matter. Now they became more austere, in the Dorian mode for stable, grave, and severe themes (The Israelites Collecting Manna); or martial, in the Phrygian mode for intense and violent themes. Poussin's fondness for the modes was motivated, according to his letter of Nov. 24, 1647, to P. F. de Chantelou, by a desire for didactic clarity in communication. For the sake of readability his compositions, from the late 1630s, were cautiously planned, the figures sculpturally modeled, the tones restricted to primary colors insistently repeated, and the psychological content underlined by emphatic, sometimes histrionic gesture and facial expression. Return to Paris, 1640-1642 Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu had been urging Poussin's return to Paris since 1638, and in 1640 he did so. He was given the title of first painter to the king, a yearly pension, and lodging in a pavilion of the Tuileries Palace. His princely reception provoked the resentment of the artistic coterie. The official circle expected him to create a French "style" and be able to direct teams of artists and artisans. But Poussin was used to a contemplative atmosphere and to concentrating on a single, meticulously executed work, and the constant demand for adaptability and glib fluency in the creation of altarpieces, decorative ceilings, and designs for books, tapestries, and furniture was exhausting. Of his many Paris works the best products of that unhappy sojourn were the decorative schemes for the ceilings of the Orangerie in the Luxembourg Palace and for the Grande Galerie of the Louvre. Mature Period, 1643-1653 In September 1642 Poussin returned to Rome, ostensibly to fetch his wife; Richelieu and Louis XIII died soon after Poussin reached Rome, enabling him to remain in his adopted country permanently. He passed the rest of his life modestly and placidly in his house in the Via Paolina, refusing countless honors, including the directorship of the Academy of St. Luke. The most important fruit of his Paris visit was a patronage truly worthy of his talents. Intellectual conservatives of the French upper bourgeoisie, like Chantelou, called forth, through their commissions, the best of the artist's talents, the embodiment of the French classical ideal. Between 1643 and 1653 Poussin came to grips with the fundamental premise of his creative being, the triumph of human will over the passions, manifest in his works in the domination of intellect over emotion. The Holy Family on the Steps (1648), for example, reveals his rational procedure for achieving biblical truth. The observer is infallibly guided, through the selective simplicity and lucid formality of the essential compositional elements, to the climax of the representation, the enthronement of a nobly modest family on monumental stairs, and to the denouement, the movement of the Holy Family toward the observer. In executing his works Poussin proceeded in the following manner. After a thorough reading of the primary sources, he made a preliminary sketch; he then constructed a small model stage upon which he could move, like chessmen, actual miniature figures made of wax. After making further drawings and altering the positions of the figures as he progressed, he made larger models. From these he painted the final scene, referring occasionally to living models to avoid sterility. Thus, by steady, almost pedestrian degrees the potentially dramatic theme was simplified to a lofty understatement. Such laborious procedures, dangerously susceptible to stereotyping by imitators, were adopted until 1690 for teaching purposes by Charles Le Brun in the Paris academic program; they also explain the objection, among even cultivated critics, to Poussin's not infrequent statuesque sterility and coloristic coldness in the works of his mature period. Late Period, 1653-1665 In Poussin's late period he moved beyond the somewhat self-conscious and mechanical means just described. The triumph of human will over the passions, or intellect over emotion, became an ultimate statement of the reign of universal harmony over the seeming chaos of nature and human life. This final conviction is most telling in such works as Apollo and Daphne (1664), sometimes called his spiritual testament to the world, and Summer and Autumn, two of the cycle of the four seasons (1660-1664). Figures are set in wildly animated landscapes of fertility or desolation, forms are reduced to nearly cubistic abstraction, and action is drastically simplified. Poussin died in Rome on Nov. 19, 1665. Joshua was successor to Moses, who led the Israelites through the Desert and into the Promised Land, Palestine. Palestine, however, was not uninhabited. According to the Old Testament a local tribe, the Amorites, lived on the east bank of the River Jordan and in the region between the Dead Sea and Hebron. Presumably the largest population group in the land Canaan, as Palestine was known, the Amorites were defeated by Joshua in a series of battles. LANDSCAPE In the late 1640s and early 1650s, at the height of his artistic maturity, Nicolas Poussin turned from historical narrative to landscape painting. Landscape with a Calm does not illustrate a story but rather evokes a mood. The ordered composition and clear, golden light contribute to A Calm's utter tranquility, while glowing, gem-like colors and fluid paint strokes enliven this scene of benevolent nature. Poussin's sketching campaigns in the Roman countryside with his friend and fellow landscape painter Claude Lorrain account, in part, for its fresh observation of cloud- scattered sky and grazing goats. Poussin painted a pendant to this painting, Landscape with a Storm, now in a museum in Rouen. Together their contrasting weather effects embody nature's changing and unpredictable relationship with man. Poussin painted these works for the Parisian merchant Jean Pointel, a friend a great collector of his landscape paintings. THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all" First Letter of Paul to Timothy 2:5 A sacrament is an outward efficacious sign instituted by Christ to give grace. Jesus Christ himself is the sacrament, as he gave his life to save mankind. His humanity is the outward sign or the instrument of his Divinity. It is through his humanity that the life of the Father and the Holy Spirit come to us as grace through the sacraments. It is Jesus Christ alone who mediates the sacraments to allow grace to flow to mankind. The Gospel of Mark 5:25-34 describes a woman afflicted with hemorrhage who touched the cloak of Jesus and was immediately healed. There is a fourth century fresco painting in the catacomb of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter depicting this event, which serves as an apt symbol of Sacrament - the power that flows out from the body of Jesus, in order to effect both remission of sin and new life in Christ. The fresco image frames Part II of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Liturgy and the Sacraments, The Celebration of the Christian Mystery. Jesus gave us his Apostles and his Church to shepherd his flock after his Ascension into heaven. "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you [John 17:18, 20:21]." Jesus is the Head of his Body the Church [Colossians 1:18]. The Church itself is a sacrament instituted by Christ to give grace. Jesus gave us his Apostles and his Body the Church to continue the works he performed during his earthly life. Grace given to us through the sacraments will help us lead a good life in this world and help save us for the afterlife. The word sacrament is a direct translation of the Greek word mysterion. The sacraments are called mysteries in the Eastern Churches, and, as they evolved from the earliest traditions of the Church, Catholic as well as Eastern Orthodox Churches all recognize the seven sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. The three sacraments of Christian Initiation are Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. The two sacraments of Healing are Penance and the Anointing of the Sick, and the two sacraments of Vocation are Holy Orders and Matrimony. Three sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, are given once, as they render a permanent seal or character upon one's soul [2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Ephesians 4:30, Revelations 7:3]. Each sacrament consists of a visible external rite, which is composed of matter and form, the matter being the action, such as the pouring of water, and the form being the words spoken by the minister. Each sacramental rite confers a special ecclesial effect and sacramental grace appropriate for each sacrament. The sacraments occur at pivotal events and give meaning to a person's life. The sacraments act ex opere operato, by the very fact of the action being performed, independent of the minister. The effect on the person receiving the sacrament is called ex opere operantis, and depends on the interior disposition of the receiver. Grace is a favor, the free and undeserved gift from God through Christ Jesus, to help us respond to his call to become children of God, to become partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life. Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is a participation in the life of God and is necessary for salvation Princess Erminia was a character in the epic poem La Gerusalemme liberata by Torquato Tasso. In this tale she falls in love with the Christian knight Tancred, and betrays her people to aid him. Once she discovers that Tancred is in love with Clorinde, however, she returns to join the Muslims. She subsequently steals Clorinde's armor then joins a group of shepherds. The name Erminia is sometimes given as "Hermine". It is related to the name "Armina", the feminine form of "Armand". Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erminia"
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