Study for the Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite
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Nicolas Poussin
French, Rome, about 1635
Pen and brown ink
5 3/4 x 8 1/8 in.

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Nicolas Poussin made this drawing as a study for the central group in a painting of the marriage of Neptune and Amphitrite, the god and goddess of the sea. It may show his initial steps in developing the final composition of the painting, commissioned by Cardinal Richelieu, an important art patron and chief minister for Louis XIII. Using simple oval forms for bodies and heads and lightly sketched limbs, Poussin worked out the spatial relationships among the figures. He changed the arrangement in the final painting but kept the two seated nymphs and the triton with a fluttering piece of drapery.