The dance to the music of time (c. 1640) by Nicolas Poussin

The dance to the music of time - Nicolas Poussin - c. 1640

Artwork Information

TitleThe dance to the music of time
ArtistNicolas Poussin
Datec. 1640
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions84.8 x 107.6 cm
Current LocationWallace Collection, London

About The dance to the music of time

The Dance To The Music Of Time is an iconic painting by French Baroque artist Nicolas Poussin. Dating back to the 1630s, the painting was done as a commission for Giulio Rospigliosi (Pope Clement IX). According to one interpretation, the picture represents the passing of time and the different stages of life, while another interpretation is that it shows how all human life is subject to the rule of time.

An intricate and detailed iconography appears on multiple levels throughout the painting. With each figure representing a stage in life, Poussin captures beauty, strength and sorrow with graceful elegance. The figures find their unity in a graceful dance to music, creating an elegant rhythm to this masterpiece depicting a timeless cycle that never ends.

The Dance To The Music Of Time is an incredible representation of the power of time over all things living. Nicolas Poussin’s masterful artwork poignantly demonstrates how every part of existence is interconnected in life’s ever-changing journey through space and time. Similarly impressive is his 1648 painting The Ashes Of Phocion Collected By His Widow which paints a powerful story about humanity’s connection with mortality and death.

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