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

Finding of Moses II

Oil on canvas, 120 x 195 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

In 1647 Poussin returned to a subject that he had already interpreted nine years earlier, The Finding of Moses. Here he created an arrangement of young women organized around the central figure of Thermutis, the Pharaoh's daughter. He used the larger dimensions of this second version not only to accommodate more - and more precise - archaeological details within the composition, but also as the occasion for a more sophisticated use of colour. In contrast to the even luminosity of the first version, Poussin now exploits all the means at his disposal and introduces effects such as the reflection of the sun glittering in the water, behind the bend in the river on the right.