Landscape with St. John on Patmos

Rizza1 The piece of work that I really admired and found myself starring at much longer than the others that was made between 1450 to 1750 was, Nicolas Poussin’s, Landscape with St. John on Patmos. Knowing from my past art history research and education, Nicolas Poussin is considered to be one of the most influential French artists of his era, with this painting being a great example of why he can take that honor. This painting is an example of a new style of thoroughly set and highly idealized classical landscape.
The painting is 39(1//2) by 53(5/8) inches, using oil paints on canvas and was created in the year 1640. When one first looks at the painting as it hangs on the wall, they would see a man, Saint John, that appears to be writing on some type of paper sitting at the foreground of the painting in bright yellow and red clothing. The reason that the audience can tell this man is St. John is because the eagle that sits beside him, which is the symbol of the Saint John evangelist, and also the halo that hovers over the head of the man in the painting is a good indicator.
As Saint John sits on the ground, he has a sheet of paper in his hands as well as some sheets lying next to him on the ground. The reason that you can tell that he is writing something and not just reading it is because although it maybe small, on the ground next to him is a pen and some ink that look as though they have been use. With the way that Poussin painted Saint John sitting and the features on his face it almost feels as if Saint John was in a deep thought or puzzled on what to write.

Although many people describe this scene to be a very violent and emotional scene Poussin does a great job making the scene look calm and very peaceful to its audence. As you move throughout the scene you will notice that ruins of buildings surround man, to his left, right and even in the middle ground. To the right and left of Rizza2 Saint John the ruins are not full buildings but just little piece that looks as though they have broken off the building.
Also another ruin sitting next to Saint John is what looks like to be a pillar or base of a building that use to be where he is sitting in the painting. The colors of these elements are very dull and look almost dead like sitting next to the very colorful Saint John. As your eye travels to the back of the painting, you will see some more ruins that Poussin has put into the scene. In the middle ground of the painting you will see what appears to resemble an old classic roman temple sitting next and large pillar that looks as if it could be an Egyptian novelist.
Although that Poussin was a French artist, he did spend the majority of his life in Roman, hence where he got the inspiration for the temple in the background. The reason that many feel that Poussin is one of the most influential artist of this time is not because of what he paints but it’s the technique that he uses within the painting. The style that he uses in this painting, as well as others he has produced, is the style that many artists will try to replicate and will become to be known as the classical landscape.
As your eye travels through the painting, notice how every element and structure has a sense of order and purpose. With your eyes trying to go on a journey through the painting Poussin gives you a path to take. What that means is as you move away from the foreground and passed Saint John your eyes almost want to move straight the objects in the middle ground but with the way Poussin painted he created a path to take your eyes there. With each part of the landscape giving you more to explore and look at. Rizza3 This painting, Landscape with St.
John on Patmos by Nicolas Poussin is highly idealized as classical landscape. The reason that this landscape is more influential then other landscapes of this time is because of the technique and style Poussin used well developing this piece of work. With using shadows in the foreground and background, creating a path for your eye to follow, and using the size of the objects, Poussin created a great piece of work and will go down in the history books as the beginning of the classical landscape. Nicholas Rizza February 5, 2013 Art History 111 Andrew Dribin Word count: 796

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