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Study After Poussin (The Baptism of Christ)

Item

Title

Study After Poussin (The Baptism of Christ)

Creator

John Vanderlyn
American, 1775–1852

Date

c. 1798

Materials

Charcoal on paper

Description

As a young artist, John Vanderlyn lived in Paris from 1796 to 1801. He spent hours in the Louvre Museum, captivated by Old Master history paintings. In this early study, representing the first of the seven sacraments central to Catholicism, St. John baptizes Christ on the banks of the Jordan River. The overall composition owes much to French artist Nicolas Poussin’s two paintings of the same subject from 1641–42 and 1646. However, the number, placement, and posture of the figures diverge from Poussin’s versions. Vanderlyn probably would not have seen either of Poussin’s paintings firsthand since both were then in private collections. He may have been more familiar with copies or prints after Poussin.

Source

The John Driscoll American Drawings Collection

Identifier

2018.204

Rights

This image is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. Other uses may not be permitted.