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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Nicolas Poussin, French (Les Andelys, France 1594 - 1665 Rome, Italy)
The Infant Bacchus Entrusted to the Nymphs of Nysa
Other Titles
Alternate Title: The Birth of Bacchus
Work Type
c. 1656
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Brown ink and brown wash over traces of black chalk, squared in red chalk on off-white antique laid paper, framing lines in brown ink, laid down on off-white antique laid paper
22.9 x 37.5 cm (9 x 14 3/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • watermark: Difficult to decipher: oval with design.
  • inscription: verso, lower left, blue ink: DOUANE / EXPOSITION / PARIS / CENTRALE


Recorded Ownership History
Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, Paris; his sale, Paris, 11 April 1825 and following days, lot 499; Sir Thomas Lawrence, London (without his mark, L.2445); William Coningham, Brighton (without his mark, L.476); possibly Colnaghi, London (by 1846); Pierre Defer, Paris; his son-in-law, Henri Dumesnil, Paris, by descent (their mark, L.739, lower right) ; Dumesnil and Defer-Dumensil families, by descent; their sale, Drouot (Boudin and Foucault), Paris, 10-12 May 1900, lot 204; sale, Drouot (Ader), Paris, 14 May 1958, lot 28; Stephen Higgins, Paris; Mr. and Mrs. Donald S. Stralem, New York; Harvard Art Museums/ Fogg Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Stralem, 1958.290

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Donald S. Stralem
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Eunice Williams, Gods and Heroes: Baroque Images of Antiquity, A Loan Exhibition from North American Collections for the Benefit of the Archeological Exploration of Sardis, exh. cat., Wildenstein Gallery, New York (New York), n.p.
  • Agnes Mongan, "The Infant Bacchus Entrusted to the Nymphs by Poussin", Annual Report (Fogg Art Museum), Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, 1958-1959), pp. 29-37, pp. 29-37
  • Anthony Blunt and Walter Friedlaender, Poussin, 1594-1665, exh. cat., Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts (Minneapolis, 1959), p. 8
  • Anthony Blunt, “Poussin Studies IX: Some Addenda to the Poussin Number", The Burlington Magazine, The Burlington Magazine Publications, Ltd. (London, 1960), vol. 102, no. 690, September, pp. 396-403, p. 141
  • Attilio Podestà, "Rassegna bibliografica", Emporium: vista mensile d’arte e di cultura, Istituto Italiano d'Arti Grafiche (Bergamo, 1961), vol. 133, no. 794, February, p. 95, p. 95
  • Cornelius C. Vermeule III, European Art and the Classical Past, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, 1964), p. 112
  • Walter Friedlaender, Nicolas Poussin: A New Approach, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, 1966), p. 190
  • Anthony Blunt, The Paintings of Nicolas Poussin: A Critical Catalogue, Phaidon Press (London, 1966), pp. 92-93
  • Anthony Blunt, "Nicolas Poussin", The A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, New York University Press (New York, 1967), ser. 35, no. 7, vol. 1, pp. 318-19
  • Stephen E. Ostrow, Visions and Revisions, exh. cat., Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art (Providence, 1968), cat. no. IV-1, pp. 17-18
  • W. Chandler Kirwin, Five College Roman Baroque Festival, exh. cat., Amherst College (Amherst, 1974), cat. no. 23
  • Jacques Thuillier, L'opera completa di Nicolas Poussin, Rizzoli Editore (Milan, 1974), p. 110
  • Walter Friedlaender and Anthony Blunt, The Drawings of Nicolas Poussin: Catalogue Raisonné, The Warburg Institute (London, 1974), vol. 5, cat. no. 433, p. 105
  • Arnauld Brejon de Lavergnée, L’Univers de Poussin, Henri Screpel (Paris, 1977), pp. 72, 83
  • Joseph Meder, The Mastery of Drawing, Abaris Books (New York, 1978), vol. 2, pl. 152
  • Caroline Houser, Dionysos and His Circle: Ancient Through Modern, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, 1979), cat. no. 48, p. 70
  • Anthony Blunt, The Drawings of Poussin, Yale University Press (U.S.) (New Haven, 1979)
  • Doris Wild, Nicolas Poussin: Leben, Werk, Exkurse, Orell Füssli Verlag (Zurich, 1980), vol. 1, pp. 68, 193, 195, vol. 2, p. 181
  • Hilliard T. Goldfarb, “A Pastoral Scene with Classical Figures by Claude Lorrain", Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland, 1983), April, pp. 169-70
  • Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), cat. no. 275, p. 235
  • Jean-Jacques Lévêque, La vie et l’oeuvre de Nicolas Poussin, ACR Édition (Paris, 1988), p. 97
  • Hilliard T. Goldfarb, From Fontainebleau to the Louvre: French Drawing from the Seventeenth-Century, exh. cat., Cleveland Museum of Art/Indiana University Press (Cleveland, 1989), cat. no. 23 pp. 58-61
  • Alain Mérot, Nicolas Poussin, Abbeville Press (New York, 1990), p. 224
  • Jacques Thuillier, Nicolas Poussin, Flammarion (1994), p. 264
  • Pierre Rosenberg and Louis-Antoine Prat, Nicolas Poussin 1594-1665: catalogue raisonné des dessins, Leonardo (Milan, Italy, 1994), vol. 1, cat. no. 364, pp. 702-703, vol. 2, p. 1211
  • Pierre Rosenberg and Louis-Antoine Prat, Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665, exh. cat., Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, 1994), cat. no. 229, p. 500
  • Richard Verdi, Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665, Royal Academy of Arts and Zwemmer (London, 1995), fig. 171
  • James Cuno, Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Ivan Gaskell, and William W. Robinson, Harvard's Art Museums: 100 Years of Collecting, ed. James Cuno, Harvard University Art Museums and Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, 1996), p. 214
  • Elizabeth Cropper and Charles Dempsey, Nicolas Poussin: Friendship and the Love of Painting, Princeton University Press (Princeton, 1996), pp. 298-302
  • Masterpieces of world art : Fogg Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1997
  • Malcolm Bull, "Poussin and Nonnos", The Burlington Magazine, The Burlington Magazine Publications, Ltd. (London, 1998), vol. 140, no. 114, November, pp. 724-38, pp. 736-38
  • Stephan Wolohojian and Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, ed. Stephan Wolohojian, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, 2008), p. 100
  • Pierre Rosenberg and Keith Christiansen, ed., Poussin and Nature: Arcadian Visions, exh. cat., Metropolitan Museum of Art / Yale University Press (New York, 2008), cat. no. 59, pp. 274-75
  • Laurence Lhinares, "Alexis-Nicolas Pérignon (1785-1864), peintre, expert, marchand et collectionneur", Revue du Louvre: La Revue des Musées de France (December 2013), no. 5, pp. 69-78, p. 73
  • Louis-Antoine Prat, Le dessin français au XVIIe siècle, Somogy Éditions d'Art (Paris, 2013), pp. 83, 637
  • Nicolas Milovanovic and Mickäel Szanto, ed., Poussin et Dieu, exh. cat., Hazan (Paris, 2015), pp. 146-47
  • Richard Verdi, Poussin as a Painter: From Classicism to Abstraction, Reaktion Books (London, 2020), p.252; repr. as fig.192 on p.252
  • Alvin L. Clark, Jr. and Edouard Kopp, French Drawings from the Age of Claude, Poussin, Watteau, and Fragonard: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2022), cat. no. 20, repr.; detail repr. p. 75

Exhibition History

  • A Catalogue of One Hundred Original Drawings by Claude Lorrain and by Nicolas Poussin Collected by Sir Thomas Lawrence, Royal Academy of Arts, 01/01/1835 - 01/01/1835
  • Visions and Revisions, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, 10/18/1968 - 11/24/1968
  • Five Colleges Roman Baroque Festival, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, 04/04/1974 - 04/28/1974; Mead Art Museum, Amherst, 04/07/1974 - 04/30/1974
  • Dionysos and His Circle: Ancient through Modern, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 12/10/1979 - 02/10/1980
  • From Fontainebleau to the Louvre: French Drawings from the 17th Century, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, 12/13/1989 - 01/28/1990; Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/24/1990 - 04/08/1990; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 05/06/1990 - 06/17/1990
  • Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, 09/27/1994 - 01/02/1995
  • HAA 10 Survey Course: The Western Tradition, Art Since the Renaissance, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 03/08/2008 - 04/06/2008
  • Poussin and Nature: Arcadian Visions, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 02/12/2008 - 05/11/2008
  • HAA 10 Survey Course (S421): The Western Tradition: Art Since the Renaissance (Fall 08 Rotation 2), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/23/2008 - 11/16/2008
  • HAA 10 Survey Course (S421): The Western Tradition: Art Since the Renaissance (Fall 09 Rotation 2), Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 10/16/2009 - 11/08/2009

Related Works

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