First Reviews of Poussin Exhibition

October 6 2021

Video: The National Gallery, London

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The first reviews have arrived for the National Gallery's upcoming exhibition Poussin and the Dance.

The Guardian's Jonathan Jones has given the show 5/5 stars, expressing that:

The National Gallery has cracked art’s most elitist code. Its liberating new exhibition unleashes a Poussin who is human, passionate and high on ancient history. This it achieves with a razor-sharp focus on his first 10 years living in Rome and feasting on its pleasures.

Alaistair Sooke in The Daily Telegraph has gone the other way giving the show a mere 2/5 stars, explaining:

Well, check out these wild and naughty pagan pictures filled with drunkenness and dacing and sex: they demonstrate that Poussin, as a young man at least, could let his hair down. For all his formality, Poussin was also "fun". I'm not buying it (...) But if this exhibition makes him come off as anything, it is as a colossal nerd.

Laura Freeman in The Times is more positive:

Poussin, the classicist’s classicist, has a reputation for chilliness, for pictures more intellectual than instinctive, for a certain Latin-primer formality. Not so, say the curators who have borrowed more than 20 paintings and drawings that show Poussin at his riotous, bibulous best. You know how millennials talk about going out-out? Well, this is Poussin out-out, Poussin in his toga glad-rags, Poussin on the town with “the lads”, the lads being Bacchus, Silenus and that old goat-god Pan. This is the Poussin of satyrs and maenads, of boozy putti and Priapic worship.

The exhibition runs from 9th October 2021 till 2nd January 2022.

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