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Friday, 06 June 2014 12:09

The Louvre Authenticates its 40th Work by Nicolas Poussin

Nicolas Poussin's 'Mars and Venus.' Nicolas Poussin's 'Mars and Venus.' The Louvre / René-Gabriel Ojéda

Mars and Venus was well-known to Nicolas Poussin scholars. But for more than a century, the oil on canvas was considered either a fake or a poor attempt by the French painter’s studio to imitate the style of the classicist master. It barely left the Louvre’s stock room.

Now new research led by Pierre Rosenberg, the director of the Louvre from 1994 to 2001, proves that Mars and Venus is indeed the real thing­–a discovery which makes it the 40th Poussin in the institution’s collection. The Figaro reports that under the piece’s darkened varnish, the conservation team in charge of a recent analysis discovered that the top of the canvas had been cut off, and the removed strips used to enlarge the piece horizontally.

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