Landscape with a Calm (Un Tem[p]s calme et serein)

Object Details


Landscape with a Calm (Un Tem[p]s calme et serein)


Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594 - 1665)




1650 - 1651


Oil on canvas


97 x 131 cm (38 3/16 x 51 9/16 in.)

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In the late 1640s and early 1650s, at the height of his artistic maturity, Nicolas Poussin turned from historical narrative to landscape painting. Landscape with a Calm does not illustrate a story but rather evokes a mood. The ordered composition and clear, golden light contribute to A Calm's utter tranquility, while glowing, gem-like colors and fluid paint strokes enliven this scene of benevolent nature. Poussin's sketching campaigns in the Roman countryside with his friend and fellow landscape painter Claude Lorrain account, in part, for its fresh observation of cloud-scattered sky and grazing goats.

Poussin painted a pendant to this painting, Landscape with a Storm,now in a museum in Rouen. Together their contrasting weather effects embody nature's changing and unpredictable relationship with man. Poussin painted these works for the Parisian merchant Jean Pointel, a friend and a great collector of his landscape paintings.

by 1651 -

probably Jean Pointel, died 1660

by 1685 -

probably Sieur Louis Bay Marchand (Lyon, France)

by 1743 - 1770

probably Peter Delmé II, Esq., M.P., 1710 - 1770 (Grosvenor Square, London, England), by inheritance to his son, Peter Delmé III, 1770.

1770 - 1789

probably Peter Delmé III, Esq., 1748 - 1789 (Titchfield Place, Hampshire, England; Erle Stoke, Wiltshire, England; Canon Hill, Braywick, Berkshire, England), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

1789 - 1790

probably Estate of Peter Delmé III, Esq., 1748 - 1789 [sold, Delmé sale, Christie's, London, February 13, 1790, lot 60, to William Petty Fitzmaurice.]

1790 - 1806

probably William Petty-Fitzmaurice, second earl of Shelburne, first marquess of Lansdowne, 1737 - 1805 (London, England; Bowood Hall, Wiltshire, England) [sold, Lansdowne sale, Coxe, Burrell and Foster, London, March 19, 1806, lot 46, to an unknown collector.]

1806 -

probably Unknown Collection

by 1823 - 1826

probably Lord Radstock [unsold, Radstock sale, Phillips, London, April 19, 1823, lot 69; sold, Radstock sale, Christie's, London, May 12, 1826, lot 35, to Mr. Robson.]

1826 - 1830

probably Mr. Robson [sold, Christie's, London, May 22, 1830, lot 73.]

by 1854 - 1857

James Morrison, 1789 - 1857 (57, Upper Harley St., London; Basildon Park, Berkshire, England), by inheritance to his eldest son, Charles Morrison, 1857.

1857 - 1909

Charles Morrison, 1817 - 1909 (Basildon Park, Berkshire, England), by inheritance to his sister, Ellen Morrison, 1909.

1909 - 1910

Ellen Morrison, died 1910 (Basildon Park, Berkshire, England), by inheritance to her nephew, Major James Archibald Morrison, 1910.

1910 - 1934

Major James Archibald Morrison, 1873 - 1934 (Basildon Park, Berkshire, England, until 1929, when property sold and art collection removed to Sudeley Castle), by inheritance to his daughter, Mrs. J. M. Dent-Brocklehurst, 1934.

1934 - 1997

J. M. Dent-Brocklehurst Family (Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Gloscestershire, England) [withdrawn, Sotheby's, London, March 1974, as by Gaspar Dughet], sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997.

III National Loan Exhibition (Winter, 1914 to 1915) (19)
  • Grosvenor Gallery, (London), 1914 to 1915
Nicolas Poussin (1594 - 1665) (November, 1977 to March 12, 1978) (35)
  • Accademia di Francia, (Rome), November, 1977 to January, 1978
  • Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, January 27 to March 12, 1978
Nicolas Poussin, Claude Lorrain: Zu den Bildern im Städel (1988) (P7)
  • Städtische Galerie im Städelsches Kunstinstitut, (Frankfurt), 1988
Cézanne and Poussin: The Classical Vision of Landscape (August 9 to October 21, 1990) (24)
  • National Gallery of Scotland, (Edinburgh), 1990
Nicolas Poussin 1594 - 1665 (September 27, 1994 to April 9, 1995) (Cat. 73/201; Cat. 201, Paris; Cat. 73, London)
  • Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, (Paris), September 27, 1994 to January 2, 1995
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), January 19 to April 9, 1995
Poussin Landscapes by Leon Kossoff (January 18 to April 16, 2000) (Cat. 73/201; Cat. 201, Paris; Cat. 73, London)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), January 18 to April 16, 2000
Dreaming of Italy (March 11 to June 25, 2006) (Cat. 33)
  • Mauritshuis, (The Hague), March 11 to June 25, 2006
Poussin and Nature (October 8, 2007 to May 11, 2008) (Cat. 56)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), February 12 to May 11, 2008

Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Treasures of Art in Great Britian: Being an Account of the Chief Collections of Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Illuminated Mss., &c., &c. 3 vols. (London: John Murray, 1854), vol. 2, p. 262.

Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain: Being an Account of More than Forty Collections of Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Mss. Visited in 1854 and 1856, and Now for the First Time Described (London: John Murray, 1857), p. 107.

Rosenberg, Pierre, and Marion C. Stewart. French Paintings, 1500-1825: The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (San Francisco: The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1987), p. 87.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 126-27, ill.

Education Resources

Education Resource




Postcards from the Wilderness

Students create a postcard of a landscape using rubbings to create texture, and write a letter on the postcard describing their landscape.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts


Single Class Lesson

Letter from the Chateau

Students write a friendly letter about their observations of a painting by Poussin with new vocabulary found using a thesaurus.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts


Long-Term Unit

Looking at Landscapes Lesson 3: Postcards

Students write a postcard about their favorite landscape.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; ESL (English as a Second Language)

Adult Learners

Short Activity

Looking at Landscapes Lesson 1: Finding Yourself in a Landscape

Students make connections between their personal experiences and landscapes.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; ESL (English as a Second Language)

Adult Learners

Single Class Lesson

Landscapes, Classical to Modern

Related Media
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    Audio: Landscape with a Calm