Lot 66
  • 66

French School, 17th Century

4,000 - 6,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Portrait of Nicolas Poussin
  • Black, red and white chalk within pen and brown ink framing lines, on blue-green paper;
    inscribed in pen and brown ink lower left: No 46. Pussin Seipsum pinxit aetat. 46.
  • 13 x 10 inches


Kenneth ?Cornish, London, as of 1904 (according to a handwritten label on reverse of drawing: Portrait of Nicolas Poussin painted by himself. Born 1594. died in Rome 1645/This must therefore have been painted after his return to Paris in 1634 and before his return to Rome in Decemb 23..../before he died there-While he was in the prime of his ?lives. His excellence as a latin scholar is well known, and ?/show it here by the correct latinisation of the first syllable of his name, and the seipsum which follows./I bought this picture in London in 1904.  Kenneth ?Cornich- If painted when he was 46 it must have been in 1640);
Dr. Alfred Scharf, London, until 1948,
when acquired by the present owner


A. Blunt, 'Poussin Studies I: Self Portraits', The Burlington Magazine, vol. LXXXIX, no. 533, August 1947, pp. 219, 222-223, reproduced pl. 1, fig. C;
P. Rosenberg and L.-A. Prat, Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665: catalogue raisonné des dessins, Milan 1994, vol. II, p. 948, no. R 665, reproduced p. 949

Catalogue Note

This very interesting 17th-century portrait of Nicolas Poussin was published by Anthony Blunt, when in the collection of Dr. Alfred Scharf, in London.  As Blunt pointed out, the drawing relates to a much later engraving by N. Dupuis (1698-1771), published by Michel Odieuvre (1687-1756).  The drawing is in reverse to the engraving, which bears the same numbering and the same inscription: No 46. Pussin Seipsum pinxit aetat. 46.  The drawing was rightly considered by Blunt to be a copy after a lost self-portrait by Poussin, which, if the inscription is to be believed, showed the artist as he appeared in 1634.  Blunt wrote of the engraving: '...the features agree with the authentic portraits, though they are so feebly drawn that the engraving may actually have been made from the surviving copy and not from the lost original.'  He also noted that although the drawing only shows the artist's head, in the print the engraver has extended the portrait to bust length, with the addition of conventional 18th-century drapery.