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The Martyrdom of St. Erasmus, Nicolas Poussin

The Martyrdom of St. Erasmus, Nicolas Poussin


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Martyrdom of St. Erasmus - Nicolas Poussin. 320x186

French artist, one of the founders of classicism in European painting, Nikola Poussin, having a craving for antique and modern Italian art, in 1624 moved to Rome. Among the works he created here was a picture on a plot from the lives of St. Erasmus, Bishop of Formia, written for the altar, placed in the right transept of the Roman Cathedral of St. Peter.

Poussin depicted a terrible scene: the executioners pulled the insides of the protagonist, winding them on a winch. A dense composition creates increased tension, which is amplified by the emotions and gestures of the characters. Erasmus’s face is distorted by flour, the priest impulsively points to the statue of Hercules, that is, a pagan idol, trying to explain to the saint for disrespect to whom he suffers suffering. The tormentors are furious and, at the same time, they carry out their work competently. But angels soar in the sky above Erasmus, carrying a laurel wreath, usually crowning those who have earned fame for their deeds, and the palm branch is a symbol of triumph.


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