Moïse tiré des eaux du Nil par la fille de Pharaon
In addition to being the royal residence, the palace of Versailles was an outstanding museum of European painting. While Louis XIV’s collection comprised mostly Italian works (including the Mona Lisa), it also featured a number of French artists, most prominently Nicolas Poussin. Having spent more than half of his life in Rome, Poussin represented an ideal synthesis between Italy and France and was held up as a model by his former student Charles Le Brun. Poussin’s artistic theory and practice were analyzed in the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture (led by Le Brun), and many of his works circulated widely through reproductive engravings. The two seen here, both illustrating episodes from the biblical story of Exodus, were commissioned by Louis XIV and Colbert as part of a vast printmaking venture known as the Cabinet du Roi (King’s Cabinet).