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The Finding of Moses

POUSSIN, Nicolas (1594 - 1665)

[image: The Finding of Moses]

Date: 1651

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 117.0 x 178.2 cm

Acquired: 1988; Purchase; jointly with the National Gallery, London, with assistance of National Heritage Memorial Fund / Art Fund

Accession Number: NMW A 1

When Pharoah ordered the killing of all boys born to the Israelites, Moses was hidden by his mother in a basket of bulrushes on the river Nile. There he was discovered and adopted by Pharoah's daughter. In Christian theology Moses was considered a precursor of Christ and analogies were drawn between his escape and Jesus's flight into Egypt. The palace in the background is based upon one in a Roman mosaic at Palestrina, excavated a few years previously. To the right is a personification of the River Nile. The joyfulness of this event is expressed through the bright colours of the fluttering drapery and the gestures of the figures. This painting was commissioned by Reynon, a silk merchant of Lyon and subsequently belonged to Clive of India (1725-74), from whom it was inherited by the Earls of Powis.

This work is currently on display.

5 comments

Brian Armstrong on 28 March 2013, 22:40

This is one of my favourite works by Poussin and we are so fortunate to have it here in Cardiff. It has all the classical features, a beautifully structured and engaging composition, wonderful colours and of course that dreamy landscape as a backdrop.

Amgueddfa Cymru on 20 February 2009, 16:21 (Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales Staff)

Dear Donato,
Thank you for your comment - Landscape with the body of Phocion is on loan to Amgueddfa Cymru - National Musuem of Wales and can can be seen in Gallery 2, National Museum Cardiff.

Donato Esposito on 11 February 2009, 11:15

Cardiff had (perhaps still does) have a Poussin on loan from the Earl of Plymouth of 'Landscape with the funeral of Phocion’, do you know where it has ended up or gone to? I had thought perhaps Cardiff might have bought it but this is not so.

Many thanks, Donato Esposito

Amgueddfa Cymru on 10 February 2009, 09:54

Dear Tim - Many thanks for your comment, unfortunately, we do not have any information regarding the auctioned Bernard Lens drawing you refer to.

Tim Couzens on 9 February 2009, 10:27

Do you know the location of a drawing of this picture, by Bernard Lens, which appeared in the Wanstead House sale of 1822 (20th June, Lot 188)?

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