Landscape with Orpheus and Eurydice (1650-1653)

The Louvre Museum, Richelieu wing, 2nd floor

Oil on canvas, 124 x 200 cm, collection of Louis XIV

Orpheus and Eurydice (1650-1653) Louvre Museum
Nicolas Poussin – Orpheus and Eurydice

The subject is taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses: Eurydice has just been killed by a snake, on the exact same day as her wedding to Orpheus, but he is playing the lyre, not having noticed this accident causing the death of his companion. Brutal appearance of death in an idyllic landscape…

Below an engraving by Jean Desaulx:

Landscape with Orpheus and Eurydice - Engraving by Jean Desaulx
Nicolas Poussin – Landscape with Orpheus and Eurydice – Engraving

Listen to the analysis of this work provided by Michel Déon from the Académie française during a statement to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in October 2006: the dominant position of the landscape, use that the painter makes of light… (in French – duration: 48 min – site:

Read Poussin et la nature, discours académique by Pierre Rosenberg (October 2006, in French).

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