Pre-Felton works after Poussin
Chasteau after Poussin The Gathering of Manna 1680 {1879} NGV [PR] [Levey gift, cat.4]
Chasteau after Poussin Jesus healing the blind {1879} NGV [PR] [Levey gift, cat.10]
Chasteau after Poussin Pyrrhus hidden from the enemies of his father 1676 {1879} NGV [PR] [Levey gift, cat.35] 
Chasteau after Poussin St Paul lifted up {1879} NGV [PR] [Levey gift, cat.19]
Picart after Poussin The Plague of Ashdod 1677 {1879} NGV [PR][Levey gift, cat.5]
Rousselet after Poussin Eliezer and Rebecca {1879} NGV [PR][Levey gift, cat.2]
Rousselet after Poussin Finding of Moses {1879} NGV [PR] [Levey gift, cat.3]

Louis XIV, whose taste also exemplifies the apparently paradoxical idea of “Baroque Classicism,” was an avid admirer and collector of Poussin’s lucidly narrated history paintings. He was the best represented painter in the Tableaux du roi group with the 7 engravings listed above, all part of Levey’s 1879 donation.

Poussin was already celebrated in his lifetime as a “philosopher-painter,” and this view has continued to gather momentum since 1665. Ironically, the most sustained account of him in these terms was advanced in the 1950s and 60s by English art historian Anthony Blunt, subsequently unmasked as a Soviet agent and the close associate of disgraced spies Burgess and Maclean. Australian sociologist John Carroll, whose own recent analyses of Poussin are particularly thought-provoking, comments: “Poussin, who had venerated civic duty and fidelity in a number of his paintings, would have judged his admirer severely.”


See in particular Blunt’s The Paintings of Poussin, Phaidon, 1966 (complete catalogue), and Nicholas Poussin, Phaidon, 1967 (based on his Mellon Lectures of 1958). Cf. John Carroll, Humanism: the Wreck of Western Culture, London: Fontana, 1993, esp.pp.85-101 (and refer index); and the same author’s Ego and Soul: the Modern West in Search of Meaning, Sydney: HarperCollins, 1998, passim (see index under Poussin), and esp.pp.101-103, on Blunt, also citing George Steiner, “The Cleric of Treason,” New Yorker 8 Dec.1980 (reprinted)