Poussin & Neapolitan patrons.
It has long been known that Poussin had strong links with the southern city of Naples. His earliest patron Giambattista Marino was one of the Neapolitan intellectual elite and Poussin illustrated his poem Adone, possibly some of the “Marino drawings” of the 1620s (Windsor). Research by Blunt, Costello and others have revealed more about Poussin’s pictures done for Neapolitan patrons. Amongst these pictures were ones owned by the Sicilian Fabrizio Valguarnera such as the Plague of Ashdod (Louvre); one of the two versions of the Kingdom of Flora (Louvre and Dresden), possibly the Midas (Ajaccio). Another Neapolitan patron who has been connected with Poussin is Cardinal Ascanio Filomarino who was born in Naples in 1583, settled in Rome in 1617 and became a close friend of Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, the future Pope Urban VIII in 1623. Filomarino boasted a collection with works by Annibale Carracci, Pietro da Cortona, Castiglione, Tassi, Guercino and Lanfranco. He also had a “strong Francophile taste” even making a down payment on Vouet’s celebrated Circumcision. Filomarino had three Poussins which are recorded in his collection that were housed in his palace in Naples: an Annunciation, a risposo, and a Flight into Egypt all known through drawings by Fragonard done for his patron Saint-Non in 1781. The “Annunciation” is probably the one at Chantilly; Blunt thought that Fragonard’s free treatment of a holy family in a landscape should be matched with the festive Rest on the Flight painting previously owned by Dr and Mrs Heinemann, and now in the Metropolitan, New York (above). But perhaps the most problematical work by Poussin is the Adoration of the Golden Calf, of which just an autograph fragment exists (Dulwich) and pastiche, probably by Andrea de Leone (San Francisco). Poussin’s original seems to have been completely destroyed by the mob during the Revolt of Masaniello in 1647. Whether the destruction of his painting by the Neapolitan mob prompted Poussin to lament the uprising (amongst other troubles like the execution of Charles I in England and the revolt of the Cossacks in Poland) in a letter to his patron Chantelou is not known.
 Anthony Blunt, “Poussin Studies VII: Poussins in Neapolitan and Sicilian Collections,” Burlington Magazine Vol 100, No. 660, (March 1958), 76-87. And on Poussin’s dealings with the Sicilian diamond smuggler Fabrizio Valguarnera, Jane Costello “The twelve pictures ordered by Velasquez” and the trail of Valguarnera,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, XIII, (1950).
 For a good overview of Filomarino’s collecting habits, Marshall, Baroque Naples, 205.
 Ibid, 205.
 On the problems of identifying these, Blunt, “Poussins in Neapolitan and Sicilian Collections,” 80.
 But it should be noted that the measurements of the existing pictures do not tally with those in the Filomarino/Della Torre inventory, Poussin Bio in Painting in Naples, 274-5. According to Marshall (Baroque Naples, 302, n 74, Falcone’s Crossing of the Red Sea quotes Poussin’s New York Holy Family. Marshall believed that Poussin’s picture may have been owned by Roomer and the quotation was a form of flattery. Not having seen Falcone’s picture I cannot comment.
 On the two heads fragment, Blunt, Poussin Studies II, “Poussin: Three Early Works,” Burlington Magazine, Vol. 89, No. 535 (Oct 1947), 266-271.
 Ibid: Poussin’s biographer Félibien said that the “Golden Calf” was executed for a Neapolitan patron and damaged in the revolt of Masaniello in 1647.