Past Exhibition: Poussin's The Arcadian Shepherds
With extraordinary generosity, the Musée du Louvre loaned one of the most celebrated icons of French art: Nicolas Poussin's The Arcadian Shepherds. This image of four shepherds solemnly meditating over the inscription they have discovered on a tomb — Et in Arcadia Ego (“Even in Arcadia [there] am I”) — has come to be regarded as the quintessence of the art of Poussin (1594-1665). It has been copied, imitated, and evoked by numerous artists, and discussed by connoisseurs, historians, and writers since it was acquired by Louis XIV for the French royal collections in 1685. This masterpiece hung in the West Gallery of The Frick Collection near works by some of Poussin's greatest contemporaries: Velazquez, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Vermeer.