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)




France (Place created)


1650 - 1651


Oil on canvas


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

See more

See less

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

Félibien, André. Entretiens sur les vies et sur les ouvrages des plus excellens peintres anciens et modernes. 4 vols. (Paris: Sebastien Mabre-Cramoisy, 1666-1685) vol. 4 [1685], p. 303.

Christie's, London. Italian, French, Flemish and Dutch Pictures [...] Late the Property of Peter Delme, Esq. February 13, 1790 p. 4, lot 60.

Coxe, Burrell and Foster, London. Capital Paintings, the Property of the Late [...] Marquis of Lansdowne [...] of Lansdowne House. March 20, 1806 p. 7, lot 46.

Phillips, London. Collection of Pictures of the Dutch, Flemish, and Italian Schools [...] the Sole Property of Lord Radstock [...]. April 19, 1823 lot 69.

Christie's, London. Italian, French, Flemish, and Dutch Pictures, of the Right Honourable Admiral Lord Radstock. May 12, 1826 p. 8, lot 35.

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.

Morrison, James Archibald. Catalogue of Pictures at Basildon Park, Berkshire (Oxford: Horace Hart, 1910) p. 28.

III National Loan Exhibition: Pictures from the Basildon Park and Fonthill Collections, exh. cat. (London: Grosvenor Gallery, 1914) p. 40, no. 19.

Phillips, Sir Claude. "Grosvenor Gallery. National Loan Exhibition." The Daily Telegraph (December 15, 1914) p. 5.

Vertue, George. Notebooks, vol. 3. Walpole Society 22 (1934) p. 117.

Sotheby's, London. Important Old Master Paintings. March 27, 1974 p. 14, lot 14, ill.

Blunt, Anthony. "Landscape by Gaspard, Figures by Nicolas." The Burlington Magazine 117, no. 870 (September 1975) p. 608.

Thuillier, Jacques. "Poussin et le paysage tragique: 'l'Orage Pointel' au musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen." La Revue du Louvre 26 (1976) pp. 345, 346, 352, 355, note 35.

Whitfield, Clovis. "Nicolas Poussin's 'Orage' and 'Temps Calme.'" The Burlington Magazine 119, no. 886 (January 1977) pp. 4-12, ill. p. 5, fig. 3.

Rosenberg, Pierre, ed. Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665, exh. cat. (Rome: Accademia di Francia, 1977) pp. 212-14, no. 35, ill.

Thullier, Jacques, and Claude Mignot. "Collectionneur et peintre au XVIIe siècle: Pointel et Poussin." Revue de l'Art 39 (1978) pp. 41, 50, no. 10, ill.

Wild, Doris. Nicolas Poussin. 2 vols. (Zurich: Orell Füssli Verlag, 1980) vol. 1, pp. 130-33, 135, 137, 213, ill.; vol. 2, no. 172b, ill.

Wright, Christopher. Poussin, Paintings: A Catalogue Raisonné (London: Hippocrene Books, 1985) pp. 99, 214-16, 254, 281, no. 164, fig. 183.

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.

Maek-Gérard, Michael, et al. Nicolas Poussin, Claude Lorrain: Zu den Bildern im Städel, exh. cat. (Frankfurt am Main: Städtische Galerie im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, 1988) pp. 73-75, no. P7, ill.

Bätschmann, Oskar. Nicolas Poussin: Dialectics of Painting (London: Reaktion, 1990) pp. 97, 100, fig. 87.

Lagerlöf, Margaretha Rossholm. Ideal Landscape: Annibale Carracci, Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1990) pp. 54, 60, 138, 178, ill. p. 59, pl. 38.

Mérot, Alain. Poussin (Paris: Hazan, 1990) pp. 130, 157, 160, 162, 296, no. 239, ill.

Marin, Louis. "Deposition du temps dans la representation peinte." Nouvelle revue de psychanalyse 41 (1990) pp. 64-66, ill. p. 56, fig. 6.

Verdi, Richard. Cézanne and Poussin: The Classical Vision of Landscape, exh. cat. (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, with Lund Humphries Publishers, 1990) p. 111, no. 24, ill.

Carrier, David. Poussin's Paintings: A Study in Art-Historical Methodology (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993) pp. 156-58.

Thuillier, Jacques. Nicolas Poussin (Paris: Flammarion, 1994) pp. 66, 129, ill., 261, no. 201, ill.

Rosenberg, Pierre, Louis-Antoine Prat, et al. Nicolas Poussin 1594-1665, exh. cat. (Paris: Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, 1995) pp. 105, 449-51, no. 201, ill., entry by Pierre Rosenberg.

Mérot, Alain. "Les modes, ou le paradoxe du peintre." In Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665, exh. cat. Pierre Rosenberg and Louise-Antoine Prat, eds. (Paris: Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, 1994) p. 84.

Verdi, Richard, with Pierre Rosenberg. Nicolas Poussin 1594-1665, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy of Arts, with Zwemmer, 1995) pp. 286-87, no. 73, pl. 73.

McTighe, Sheila. Nicolas Poussin's Landscape Allegories (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996) pp. 32, 34, 37-38, 43, 52, pl. 2.

Allen, Denise, and David Jaffé. "Poussin's 'A Calm' and 'A Storm.'" Apollo 147, no. 436 (June 1998) pp. 28-34, figs. 1, 4 (detail), 5 (detail).

Pétry-Parisot, Claude. Caravage-Poussin: Le génie réaliste de Caravage s'oppose-t-il à la poésie peinte de Poussin?, exh. brochure (Rouen: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, 1998) p. 8, fig. 3.

Feigen, Richard. Tales from the Art Crypt: The Painters, the Museums, the Curators, the Collectors, the Auctions, the Art (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000) pp. 66-69, ill. p. 67.

Scholz-Hänsel, Michael. Jusepe de Ribera, 1591-1652 (Cologne: Könemann, 2000) pp. 80, 82, fig. 72.

Walsh, John. Poussin Landscapes by Leon Kossoff, exh. brochure (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2000) fig. 3.

Kendall, Richard. Drawn to Painting: Leon Kossoff, Drawings and Prints After Nicolas Poussin, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art and J. Paul Getty Museum, with Merrell, 2000) pp. 45, 48-51, ill. p. 125, pl. 66.

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

Olson, Todd P. Poussin and France: Painting, Humanism, and the Politics of Style (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002) pp. 212, 217, 218, 220, 224, 233, 239-40, 241, figs. 102 (detail), 118, 123 (detail).

Allen, Denise, et al. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, with Thames & Hudson, 2003) pp. 74-75, no. 39, ill., entry by Jon L. Seydl.

Penelope Hunter-Stiebel, ed. The Triumph of French Painting: 17th Century Masterpieces from the Museums of FRAME, exh. cat. (Portland: Portland Art Museum, 2003) p. 35.

Unglaub, Jonathan. "Poussin's Reflection." The Art Bulletin 86, no. 3 (September 2004) pp. 505, 508, ill.

Stratford, Linda. "French Identities in Landscape Imagery." In A Romance with the Landscape: Realism to Impressionism, exh. cat. Janie M. Welker and Linda Stratford (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Art Museum, 2006) pp. 31, 32, fig. 11.

Os, Henk van. Dreaming of Italy, exh. cat. (The Hague: Mauritshuis, 2006) pp. 62-64, 126, no. 33, fig. 18.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007) pp. 118-19, ill.

Morra, Joanne. "The Work of Research: Remembering, Repeating, and Working-Through." In What is Research in the Visual Arts. Michael Ann Holly and Marquard Smith, eds. (Williamstown, Mass.: The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2008) pp. 55-56, fig. 4.

Schlesser, Thomas. Cent énigmes de la peinture: la beauté (Paris: Hazan, 2010) pp. 122-25, ill.

Braider, Christopher. The Matter of Mind: Reason and Experience in the Age of Descartes (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012) pp. 91, 93, 108, 120-21, fig. 8.

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
  • /
    Audio: Landscape with a Calm