The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin is an oil on canvas painting that measures 214 x 154 cm. It can be found in the National Gallery in London, UK, and was produced between 1633 and 1634. The painting features a golden calf at the center surrounded by figures dancing around it.
Moses is depicted in the painting as he descends from the mountain, lifting a tablet above his head. The bull on the pedestal represents strength and power while Aaron invites people to worship while Moses is away, resulting in their adoration of the golden calf.
Poussin’s style of classicism shines through this artwork. He has prioritized details like color usage and symbolism over emotion, which makes this piece more cerebral than emotional. The layering of meaning within each detail dramatizes allegories making each element worth noticing.
Overall, The Adoration of Golden Calf demonstrates Poussin’s mastery on using symbolic animals to illustrate biblical scenes with layers of meaning.