In 1630, Nicolas Poussin painted “The Plague of Ashdod,” a religious painting based on an Old Testament story. The painting tells the story of an epidemic that affected the Philistines after they captured the Ark of the Covenant. It is one of Poussin’s greatest works and is located in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Poussin’s painting was commissioned by Fabrizio Valguarnera, a Sicilian merchant. It falls under the category of classicism and draws upon Christian mythology to portray a scene that relates to biblical text. The work was influenced by the bubonic plague outbreak in Italy, which occurred between 1629 and 1631.
Poussin was a French Baroque painter who specialized in biblical and mythological scenes. He created intricate, detailed works that often depicted stories from ancient texts with rich imagery that captured aspects of history and culture at large.