Landscape with Diogenes

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Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665), oil on canvas, 63″x 87″, 1684, Musée du Louvre.

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4 thoughts on “Landscape with Diogenes

  1. A. Broccoli

    “At the beginning of 1960, Cy Twombly, then resident in Rome for almost three years, moved into a seventeenth-century apartment in the centro storico. The first work he painted there was also the first of his paintings to act as a direct homage to a painter from the past. Woodland Glade (to Poussin) – completed in February 1960, three months before the major Poussin exhibition curated by Anthony Blunt at the Musée du Louvre opened – may be said to be a ‘good and novel arrangement’ of just such an ‘ordinary and worn’ subject, this one being Poussin’s own distinctive treatment of landscape painting. It marks the first manifestation of Twombly’s self-acknowledged fascination with this painter, through a schematic analysis of a typically Poussinesque landscape of lush greenery surrounding a calm and limpidly blue pool in the centre of the composition, as displayed in some of Poussin’s most famous pastoral paintings such as the translucent Landscape with a Calm, 1651 (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles) or Landscape with Diogenes, c. 1648. In Twombly’s tribute to Poussin, the dedicatory title is inscribed in the lower centre ‘foreground’ of the picture, while receding into the distance behind it is a notional version of an archetypal Poussin landscape which in Twombly’s version is abbreviated to squiggles of green crayon encircling an expanse of water rendered (or literally ‘coloured in’) in blue and simply labelled ‘Pool’.”
    — Nicolas Cullinan
    Twombly and Poussin Arcadian Painters
    at Dulwich Picture Gallery
    29 June – 25 September 2011

    Reply
    1. A. Broccoli

      Above some contemporary art for those (Paul Mall) who hope to know. And then on the man, as Wiki notes (also for Paul Mall):
      “He believed that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory. He used his simple lifestyle and behaviour to criticise the social values and institutions of what he saw as a corrupt society. He declared himself a cosmopolitan. There are many tales about him dogging Antisthenes’ footsteps and becoming his faithful hound. Diogenes made a virtue of poverty. He begged for a living and slept in a large ceramic jar in the marketplace. He became notorious for his philosophical stunts such as carrying a lamp in the daytime, claiming to be looking for an honest man.

      Discuss.

      Reply

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