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Title The Blind Men of Jericho
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist After Poussin, Nicolas (French painter and draftsman, 1594-1665, active in Italy)
Date Earliest about 1650
Date Latest about 1700
Description This is probably a late seventeenth century copy of Poussin's original picture painted in Rome in 1650 for a silk merchant in Lyon. By 1665, the original picture (now in the Louvre, Blunt, A., cat no. 74) had been purchased by Louis XIV.

The scene shows Christ curing two blind men outside the walls of Jericho by touching their eyes (Matthew, 20. 29-34). This was understood to symbolise the redemption of man's spiritual blindness by Christ. The brightness of the colours expresses the revelation of regained sight, both physical and spiritual.

Poussin, regarded as the founder of French classical painting, had by 1650 achieved European fame. The design of the figures and their architectural background were inspired by Poussin's study of Roman architecture and sculpture.

Current Accession Number 1933P77
Former Accession Number P.7733
Subject religion (Christ healing the blind); townscape (Jericho)
Measurements 119.4 x 170.2 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by Mrs Maud Lowdes 1933.
Provenance One of three versions recorded in the 19th c. [?] 1. Robit Collection (Buchanan, W., Memoirs, II, p. 67). 2. Isaac Pittar sale, Phillips, 19 April 1842, lot 64. 3. Lord Berwick sale, Phillips, 15 April 1826, lot 186, bought by Lord Gower, by descent to the Dukes of Sutherland; Christie's sale, 11 April 1913, lot 33 (46 x 71 ins).
Principal Exhibitions Masterpieces of Reality. French Seventeenth Century Painting, Leicestershire Museum and Art Gallery, 1986.
Publications Catalogue of Paintings in Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, 1960; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 117.
Notes A good, old and faithful copy of the original by Poussin in Louvre (Blunt No. 74). Copies of this standard are unusual for Poussin's late work. A letter from BMAG keeper, Richard Lockett (1988) states that he considers this painting to have been done in Poussin's studio and, therefore, in Paris some time in the late seventeenth century. Another version was sold, Sotheby's, 4 April 1984, lot 270, as attrib. to Coypel. Yet another featured in the exhbition, Nicholas Poussin et Son Temps, April - May 1961, no. 9 as attributed to Bourdon (114 x 163 cms).

Original entry in Gallery Inventory Book states that this was believed to be from the collection of Thos. Wright.

Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth
 

 

 

 

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