Art

Reading the Melbourne Poussin

There are two European paintings of the first rank in Australia, both held in the National Gallery of Victoria. One is The Banquet of Cleopatra, arguably Tiepolo’s finest painting—claimed by the art historian Jaynie Anderson to be the greatest work on canvas from the eighteenth century. The other is Nicolas Poussin’s The Crossing of the Red Sea. It is far too little known and appreciated in this country—in part, because it is difficult to understand. My aim here is to introduce this magnificent work to those who don’t know it; and to make it more familiar to those who do.…

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