- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press (June 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300093381
- ISBN-13: 978-0300093384
- Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.1 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,251,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Poussin and France: Painting, Humanism, and the Politics of Style
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From Library Journal
Paradoxically, the greatest French painter of the 17th century and the artist who is arguably the founder of its national tradition lived for the greater part of his career in Rome. The essence of this fascinating but frustrating study by Olson (art history, Univ. of Southern California) is to reunite Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) with French culture and politics. In particular, Olson argues for an apprehension and appreciation of some aspects of Poussin's work in light of the preoccupations and patronage of the noblesse de robe. This was a potent but politically frustrated group whose concerns, according to Olson, both inspired and are reflected in the erudite content and severe formalism of Poussin's art. Central to the argument is the author's attempt to contextualize aspects of Poussin's oeuvre against the deep social unrest of the mid-century civil war. Although this is a work of the deepest scholarly exertion and erudition, it is marred, particularly in its conclusions, by arcane formulations and assertions both farfetched and beyond the range of a historian's ken. Yet whatever the flaws of what will surely be a controversial study, scholarly art history libraries will require this volume. Robert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, New York
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Todd P. Olson is assistant professor in the department of art history at the University of Southern California.