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

Rescue of Young King Pyrrhus

Oil on canvas, 116 x 160 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Poussin here illustrates an episode from the childhood of the Greek king Pyrrhus, a scene not previously treated in painting. As in the case of the second Massacre of the Innocents, he uses the opportunity to demonstrate the possibilities of painting: although mute, it is able to convey things that can in fact only be heard, such as voices and noises, and to communicate with the viewer without the use of the spoken word.