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

Nymphs Feeding the Child Jupiter

c. 1650
Oil on canvas, 117 x 155 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Although the painting initially was attributed to Poussin, it seems now that it is by an anonymous artist inspired by a sketch of Poussin (now in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm) for a painting he never executed.

There are two autograph paintings of this subject by Poussin, one in the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, and another in the Staatliche Museen, Berlin. These paintings show different ways of feeding the infant Jupiter, corresponding to the various classical authors. The painting in Washington, despite several beautifully executed passages, especially in the foliage and the landscape, betrays numerous weaknesses incompatible with authentic paintings by Poussin.