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


Oil on canvas, 106 x 104 cm
National Gallery, London

For a long time there was speculation as to whether Poussin's Annunciation possibly arose in connection with his involvement - documented in contemporary letters - on the design of Cassiano dal Pozzo's tomb. In view of the simple and at the same time austere monumentality of the picture, identified as a work by Poussin by an illusionistically painted wood panel, it seems suitable as an altarpiece for a burial chapel. But dal Pozzo was not given such a chapel, and hence it now seems more likely that the painting represents a commission issued by Flavio Chigi, who in 1655 was made a Cardinal by Pope Alexander VII - also prominently named on the painted wooden panel.