Nicolas Poussin

Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites

Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Nicolas Poussin
Battle Painting, Painting, Oil on canvas, 97.5x134 cm
Origin: France, Circa 1624/1625

The Battle of the Israelites and Amalekites and its companion piece The Battle of the Israelites and Amorites are the first works that Poussin produced in Italy. The subject, very rarely found in painting, is evidence of the artist's awakened interest in the story of Moses, upon which he would draw repeatedly in the future. On the canvas in the Hermitage collection the artist depicted the clash between the Israelites and the warlike Amalekites in the wilderness of Rephidim. Moses commanded Joshua to fight and he himself went up to the top of a hill and prayed for victory. ?And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses? hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaaron and Hur stayed up his hands?? . This decided the outcome of the battle in favour of the Israelites.

In both paintings one can sense the influence of the Raphael Loggias frescoes in the Vatican, which Poussin may have known, even before he left France, from prints and engravings. The composition is based on drawings that Poussin made of reliefs on Roman sarcophagi. The artist grasped the opportunity to show on the canvas the tempestuous movement of the warriors clashing in a bitter, prolonged struggle. He has conveyed the element of battle with its dynamism.

Style: Classicism
Source of entry: Provenance: between 1763 and 1774
Theme: The Bible and Christianity

Site map

Albums Authors Countries Sources Epoches Exibitions Genres
Personages Schools Styles Techniques Themes Types Workshops

Image Use Policy

Unless otherwise noted, images this web site may be used for any purpose without prior permission.

Any material in the public domain found on this web site is not protected by copyright.

We make no representations or warranties with respect to ownership of copyrights in the images, and do not represent others who may claim to be authors or owners of copyright of any of the images, and make no warranties as to the quality of the images.

We shall not be responsible for any loss or expenses resulting from the use of the images, and you release and hold us harmless from all liability arising from such use.

We do not sell art prints, framed posters or reproductions. Ads are shown only to compensate the hosting expenses.