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

The Triumph of Bacchus

Oil on canvas, 128 x 151 cm
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

In April 1635, Poussin received a particularly prestigious commission from France, when Cardinal Richelieu ordered a set of four Bacchanals, each celebrating one of the antique gods. By May 1636 three of these compositions - the Triumphs of Bacchus, Pan and Silenus respectively - were hanging in the Cabinet du Roi in Richelieu's chateau in Poitou. The fourth painting - The Triumph of Neptune - was intended for a different destination, however, whose location has yet to be established beyond doubt.