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257 × 195 × 29 mm
368 pages
241 illustrations, 223 in colour
10 Feb 2020

Poussin as a Painter From Classicism to Abstraction Richard Verdi

Universally regarded as the father of French painting, Nicolas Poussin is arguably the greatest of all painters of that school. Yet Poussin’s reputation has been founded more on the intellectual and philosophical qualities of his art than its sheer visual beauty.

In Poussin as a Painter: From Classicism to Abstraction Richard Verdi redresses the balance, describing and analyzing Poussin’s outstanding gifts as a pictorial storyteller, designer and colourist – in short, on the purely aesthetic (and often abstract) aspects of his art that have inspired so many later painters, from Cezanne to Picasso. The book features more than 220 fine illustrations, the majority in colour, and encompasses all aspects of Poussin’s art from the mid 1620s to his death in 1665. This ground-breaking study gives new insight into Poussin, and is essential reading for all who admire this seminal French painter.

Poussin as a Painter traces in detail Poussin’s evolving approaches to painting through invention, composition and colour, showing how they combine to make his best works both unified and unalterable. By careful forensic analysis of each composition, the author reveals how Poussin’s rigour and discipline forge unity from diversity, and then demonstrates how widely these principles have influenced later painters.’ — Paul Spencer-Longhurst, Editor, Richard Wilson Online, Paul Melon Centre for Studies in British Art

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Richard Verdi is former Professor of Fine Art and Director of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham, UK. His many books include Nicolas Poussin 1594-1665 (1995), The Parrot in Art: From Durer to Elizabeth Butterworth (2007) and Rembrandt’s Themes: Life into Art (2014).


The Artist’s Life
An Introduction to Poussin’s Art
Invention and Composition
Themes Treated Twice
Poussin’s Development as a Coulourist
Colour and Subject
Colour and Composition
The Theory of the Modes
Landscape to 1651
The Late Landscapes
Poussin and his Contemporaries
Poussin and Posterity

List of Illustrations