POUSSIN, Nicolas
(b. 1594, Les Andelys, d. 1665, Roma)

Holy Family with St John the Baptist

c. 1627
Oil on canvas, 76 x 64 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This small painting dates from about 1627, several years after Poussin's arrival in Rome in 1624. During the 1620s Poussin was particularly drawn to Venetian painting and the influence of Titian is dominant here. The dramatic alternations of light and shade as well as the hills and sky at the right reflect an awareness of Titian's Bacchanal of the Andrians, and the playful swarms of putti must have been inspired by the remarkable Worship of Venus (both works are now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid).

Poussin produced several related compositions.