Two Girls Accompanied by Cupid
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Nicolas Poussin
French, Rome, about 1625
Pen and brown ink and brown wash over black chalk
6 13/16 x 4 7/8 in.

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A putto and an attendant may be leading a bride--the woman on the left--to her groom while Cupid urges her on, but the subject is not perfectly clear. The drawing might merely represent any classical human marriage scene, or it might represent a more specific mythological theme such as the marriage of Bacchus and Ariadne.

Nicolas Poussin used more ink and wash to make drawings than any other medium, combining graceful, fluid lines with a sensitive, judicious use of wash. Here he created beautifully rippling costumes that gently move along with the young women yet also have a modest life of their own. Characteristically, he chose to leave the women's features abstract.