Poussin’s nature is idealized, subject to the same strict norms and canons, like the image of a person in figured compositions. Poussin relies on direct observations of Italian nature, but processes them and introduces the principle of rationalist organization and strict calculation into his landscapes. Compositions are divided into clear plans: as a rule, they are limited from the edges by the wings, leaving free space in the center. Often, Poussin introduces architecture into his landscapes that is organically linked and balanced with the landscape. Without playing an independent role, these elements of buildings enhance the emotional sound of the action of the picture. The ratio of figured and landscape elements qualitatively separates his works from the works of other masters. The compositions of Nicolas Poussin are the largest and most monumental in the classical landscape of the 17th century, the richness and scale of Poussin’s designs require paintings of appropriate sizes for their embodiment.
The thematic form “Seasons” is traditional and ancient. Even in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, this theme was often used as an opportunity to establish the realities of life in art.
The elements of historical movement introduced into it, the depiction of the fate of humanity, distinguishes Poussin’s concept. The compositions that make up The Seasons are noticeably different from each other in the nature of their plot motives, which are, as it were, at different levels of the hierarchy of religious images, in the narrative structure and in the picturesque manner of transmission.
The painting “Spring” (“Earthly Paradise”) stands out for its fictional landscape. The earth is in lush, joyful bloom. The trees overgrown with dense foliage are all in fruit. The soil is overgrown with wildly growing grasses and bushes. In the center of the composition are the figures of Adam and Eve. The smiling figure of Eve points out the forbidden fruit to Adam. On the right on the cloud is the figure of God.
Year of painting: 1664.
Dimensions of the painting: 117 x 160 cm.
Writing technique: oil.
Gallery: Louvre, Paris, France.