Author                                                                                                                              
 


Kathryn N. Farrar

Art History

Giovanni Pietro Bellori opens his biography of seventeenth-century French painter Nicolas Poussin with the claim that France was “contending with Italy for the name and acclaim of Nicolas Poussin, of whom one nation was the fortunate mother, the other his teacher and second homeland.” How we see Poussin’s art today is not only shaped by the image projected by his early biographers—namely Bellori, André Félibien, Giovanni Battista Passeri, and Joachim Sandrart—but is also a product of years of biased criticism. Scholars have imposed nationalistic and stylistic labels on Poussin despite his conscious rejection of all such constraints in his lifetime. In defining Poussin as a French artist, Italy is often treated as nothing more than a geographic crutch to his artistic genius. Through my research I approach Poussin’s oeuvre differently; I offer an alternative to the historiographic focus on style by returning to a subject-based reading of Poussin’s early works, particularly his collaborative project of drawings with Italian Baroque poet Giambattista Marino. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Abstract                                                                                                                           
 

Giovanni Pietro Bellori opens his biography of seventeenth-century French painter Nicolas Poussin with the claim that France was “contending with Italy for the name and acclaim of Nicolas Poussin, of whom one nation was the fortunate mother, the other his teacher and second homeland.” How we see Poussin’s art today is not only shaped by the image projected by his early biographers—namely Bellori, André Félibien, Giovanni Battista Passeri, and Joachim Sandrart—but is also a product of years of biased criticism. Scholars have imposed nationalistic and stylistic labels on Poussin despite his conscious rejection of all such constraints in his lifetime. In defining Poussin as a French artist, Italy is often treated as nothing more than a geographic crutch to his artistic genius. Through my research I approach Poussin’s oeuvre differently; I offer an alternative to the historiographic focus on style by returning to a subject-based reading of Poussin’s early works, particularly his collaborative project of drawings with Italian Baroque poet Giambattista Marino. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Faculty Mentor                                                                                                                
 

Jane O. Newman

School of Humanities

In her essay, “Nicolas Poussin: An Artist Lost in Art Historical Periodization,” Katie Farrar examines the ideological, rhetorical, and material conditions that led to the historical creation and canonization of Poussin—who spent most of his life in Italy and was profoundly influenced by ancient Roman and Italian art—as a French national icon. Her knowledge about the intricate political relations between Italy and France in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the history of the artistic academies dialogues easily with elegant close readings of several of Poussin’s most well known images as well as with some of his lesser known ones as these images ‘answer’ earlier images and texts. The essay is a fine example of the best kind of interdisciplinary work on the Renaissance and early modern periods being done today. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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