La Destruction du temple de Jérusalem (1635)

Poussin, Nicolas (1594-1665)

La Destruction du temple de Jérusalem (The destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem)
Oil on canvas, 147 × 198 cm
Kunsthistorisches MuseumVienna

The material is taken from Flavius Josephus’ Jewish War. Titus, the son of the reigning Roman emperor, riding up on a white horse, is moved to see how, against his will, the Old Testament prophecy of the destruction of Solomon’s temple is being fulfilled. Poussin translates the chaos of the dramatic subject into a well-ordered pictorial structure. In the rigor of the design, in the clarity of the space in which everything has its proper place, this work is evidence of Poussin‘s decisive turn towards a precise recording of bodies in space. Poussin created the picture on behalf of the cardinal nephew Francesco Barberini, who gave it to the imperial envoy as a gift from the pope to Ferdinand III. handed over. Did one want to allude to Ferdinand’s victory over the Protestants at Nördlingen (1634) in praise, or critically recall the conquest and plundering of Mantua by imperial troops (1627)? (KHM)

See also:

Jerusalem (Israel)