Born in France but spent most of his life in Rome. He is regarded not only as the greatest French painter of the 17th century, but also as the mainspring of the Classical tradition in French painting. Raphael and his school, Roman statuary, and frieze reliefs in the royal collection, influenced him early in his career. After arriving in Rome in 1624, he came to the notice of Cardinal Francesco Barberini who became his patron. His first Roman works show he was dominated by the Mannerism of the mid 16th century. However under the influence of Cassiano while studying Roman sculpture in intimate details it all changed. In 1630 he succumbed to his dominating passion for the antique, and during the next years brought to maturity the manner which has become recognized as particularly his own creation. Instead of religious subjects, he painted themes from ancient mythology. o By his death in 1665, Poussin had achieved European fame. Poussin continued to be the inspiration of classically minded artists right into the early 19th century.
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