A interesting cache of Poussin coming up for auction in New York on the 28th Jan. Just some notes on them.
1. A painting, probably a sketch, or fragment of two putti fighting on goats. Pierre Rosenberg put this in his “Poussin et Nature.” exhibition which I saw in 2007. Connected to several drawings, the subject is unknown.
2. A drawing of shields, tents, provisions standards. Poussin often took motifs from Trajan’s Column, or illustrations after it.; or antiquarians like De Choul. Not the best of this series- but still good.
3. A drawing by Charles Mellin, “Presentation in the Temple.” Previously owned by the Getty, when they catalogued it as “characteristic of Poussin’s mature style.” Fortunately, real connoisseurship intervened and it was re-attributed to Mellin. Good as a guide to how Poussin’s contemporaries imitated him.
4. Anon 17th century French Artist. “Portrait of Poussin.” Be careful. Sotheby’s state this is a “very interesting 17th-century portrait of Nicolas Poussin.” But there is absolutely no proof that this is Poussin’s likeness. They invoke Blunt’s argument of 1947 that this might be a poor drawing after a lost self-portrait, but it doesn’t resemble any of the three extant self-portraits. Speaking as a Poussin scholar, I think Sotheby’s should make it clear that the identification is a hypothesis, not a fact. As to the artist, I have no idea who it is but it’s not an accomplished drawing.