Artist Nicolas Poussin, French, 1594-1665
Title
  • The Holy Family
Date 1641
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Unframed: 28 × 22 1/8 inches (71.1 × 56.2 cm)
Framed: 34 × 28 × 2 1/2 inches (86.4 × 71.1 × 6.4 cm)
Credit Line Gift of Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Wilkinson
Accession Number 54.2
Department European Painting
On View European: Poussin, Level 2 (see map)
Inscriptions Inscribed, center of canvas, partially obscured: VIRGO MARIA IOSEPH FE | N POUSSIN 16
the artist, Nicolas Poussin (Paris, France);
1642, delivered by the artist to (Giovanni Stefano Roccatagliata [d. 1652], Rome, Italy);
possibly bequeathed by to Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo, younger brother of Cassiano dal Pozzo;
by descent to his son, Gabariele dal Pozzo;
by 1740, Boccapaduli, no. 59;
1760-December 1760, acquired by Louis-Auguste le Tonnelier de Breteuil [1722-1785], Ambassador of Malta (Rome, Italy);
December 1760, possibly sold by (Lebrun) [with other paintings belonging to Breteuil, see Lugt 1128];
by 1770, Robert Ansell (London, England);
February 15, 1771, sold by (Christie's, London, England) auction Ansell, lot 72;
1771, purchased by by Lord Melbourne;
Peniston Lamb, first Viscount Melbourne [1779-1829] (Melbourne House, Derbyshire, England);
by inheritance to William Lamb, second Viscount Melbourne [1779-1848];
by inheritance to his brother, Frederick James Lamb, William Lamb, third Viscount Melbourne [1782-1853];
by inheritance to his sister, Emily Mary, formerly wife of the fifth Earl Cowper and then Lady Palmerson [1787-1869];
by inheritance to her second son, W.F. Cowper-Temple, later Baron Mount Temple
by inheritance to ELady Palmerson's grandson, Evelyn Ashley [1836-1907];
until 1924, Captain Langton Douglas (London, England);
November 17, 1924, purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Edgar B. Whitcomb [d. 1953] (Detroit, Michigan, USA);
1953, by descent to Mrs. Harriet Whitcomb Wilkinson (Detroit, Michigan, USA);
1954-present, gift to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
A Catalogue of a Superb and Valuable Collection of Italian, French, Flemish and Dutch Pictures, Collected Abroad last Year, with great Speculation and Expence, by Mr. Robert Ansel. Sales cat., Mr. Christie, London, February 15, 1771, p. 8, no. 72.

Smith, John. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters, vol. 8. London, 1837, p. 37, no. 68. [As "The Virgin and Child, and St. Joseph"]

Oeuvres Complètes de Nicolas Poussin, vol. 1. Paris, 1845, no. unpaginated, no. 63 (ill.). [Illustrative print after; as "La Vierge L'Enfant Jesus et Saint Joseph"]

Andresen, Andreas. Nicolas Poussin. Verzeichniss der Nach Seinen Gemälden Gefertigten, Gleichzeitigen und Späteren, Kupferstiche, Etc. Leipzig, 1863, p. 34, no. 119.

Jouanny, Ch. "Correspondance de Nicolas Poussin." Archives de L'Art Français, vol. 5, 1911, pp. 57, 112, 124, 137, 153, 159, 163, 165, 169. [The painting is cited nine times between April 18, 1641 and July 25, 1642]

Friedlaender, Walter. Nicolas Poussin: Die Entwicklung seiner Kunst. Munich, 1914, pp. 76, 117, 214 (ill.).

Grautoff, Otto. Nicolas Poussin, vol. 2. Munich, 1914, p. 255.

Magne, E. Nicolas Poussin, Premier Peintre du Roi 1594-1665 (Documents inédits). Brussels and Paris, 1914, pp. 122, 133, 213, no. 246. [as in collection de Breteuil]

Borenius, Tancred. "The Roccatagliata Madonna of Nicolas Poussin." Art in America 13, no. 2 (February 1925): 92–94, pp. 92–94.

Réau, Louis. L'Art Français aux Etats-Unis. Paris, 1926, p. 164. [as in Whitcomb collection]

Valentiner, William R. The Third Loan Exhibition of Old Masters: Italian, French, Dutch, German, French, Spanish and English Fifteenth to Nineteenth Century. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1926, unpaginated, no. 45.

The Fifth Loan Exhibition of Old and Modern Masters. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1927, p. 44, no. 86.

Heil, Walter. "The Edgar B. Whitcomb Collection in Detroit." Art in America 16, no. 2 (February 1928): 49–58, pp. 55–56.

Heil, W. Catalogue of the Works of Art in the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar B. Whitcomb. Detroit, 1931, p. 40.

Friedlaender, Walter F. "Poussin." In Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler 27, ed. Hans Vollmer et al. Leipzig, 1933, p. 325.

Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Georges de la Tour, Antoine Le Nain, Louis Le Nain, Mathieu Le Nain. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1937, cat. 32 [supplementary list].

Friedlaender, W. The Drawings of Nicolas Poussin, A Catalogue Raisonné. London, 1939, vol. 1, pp. 20-22, 24, fig. 7 (ill.).

Friedlaender, Walter F. "America's First Poussin Show." Art News 38, no. 23 (1940): 7–14, 24, front cover (ill.), pp. 11–12.

Paintings by Nicolas Poussin. Exh. cat., Durlacher Brothers Gallery. New York, 1940, cat. 6.

Blunt, Anthony. "The Early Work of Charles Lebrun—II." Burlington Magazine 85, no. 497 (August 1944): 186–194, p. 186.

Blunt, Anthony. The French Drawings in the Collections of His Majesty the King at Windsor Castle. Oxford and London, 1945, p. 42, nos. 205v, 208.

Bertin-Mourot, Thérèse. "Addenda au catalogue de Grauthoff depuis 1914." Bulletin de la Société Poussin 2 (December 1948): 43–87, p. 47, no. 9 (ill.).

Licht, Fred Stephen. Die Entwicklung der Landschaft in den Werken von Nicolas Poussin. Basel, 1954, p. 157.

"Recent Acquisitions: An Album" Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 34, no. 1 (1954–1955): 9–21, pp. 12–13 (ill.).

Vaughan, Malcolm. "Poussin in America." Connoisseur 143, no. 576 (April 1959): 123–127, p. 126 (ill.).

Nicolas Poussin 1594–1665. Exh. cat., Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Minneapolis, 1958, pp. 19 (ill.), 27.

Blunt, Anthony. Nicolas Poussin. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 1960, pp. 99–100, no. 65 (ill.); p. 246.

Thuillier, Jacques. "Poussin et ses premiers compagnons français à Rome." In Nicolas Poussin, vol. 1, ed. André Chastle. Paris, 1960, p. 85, no. 50.

Heritage de France. Exh. cat., Montreal Muesum of Fine Arts, et al. Montreal, 1961, pp. 56, 135, cat. 65.

Arcangeli, Francesco et al. L'ideale classico del Seicento in Italia e la pittura di Paesaggio. Exh. cat., Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio. Bologna, 1962, pp. 190–191, no. 71 (ill.).

Jaffé, Michael. "The Lunettes and After: Bologna 1962." Burlington Magazine 104, no. 715 (October 1962): 410–419, p. 411.

Mahon, D. "Poussiniana." Gazette des Beaux Arts 60 (July-August 1962): 1–138, p. 110.

Thuillier, J. "L'Année Poussin." Art de France, vol. I. 1962, p. 341, no. 47.

Wildenstein, G., ed. "Catalogue de graveurs de Poussin par Andresen." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 60 (July-August 1962): 139–202, pp. 152, 159.

Fleischman, Lawrence A., et al. "The Arts Commission." Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 42, no. 3 (1963): 39–54, p. 48.

Cummings, Frederick J. Art in Italy, 1600–1700. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1965, pp. 35–36, no. 15 (ill.).

Pepper, Stephen. "The Risorgimento and the Baroque: Detroit, The Flowering of the Baroque in and Out of Rome." Arts Magazine 39, no. 9 (May–June 1965): 39–43, p. 40.

Blunt, Anthony. The Paintings of Nicolas Poussin: A Critical Catalogue. London, 1966, pp. 36, 159, no. 46, pl. 46 (ill.).

Einem, Herbert von. "Poussin's 'Madonna an der Treppe': Dora Panofsky zum Gedächtnis." Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch 28 (1966): 31–48, p. 41.

Friedlaender, Walter F. Nicolas Poussin: A New Approach. New York, 1966, pp. 66, 148–149 (ill.). [see also 1965 edition]

Badt, Kurt. Die Kunst des Nicolas Poussin. Cologne, 1969, vol. 1: pp. 230, 498; vol. 2: pp. 7, 11, pl. 123 (ill.).

Cummings, Frederick J. "A Poussin for Roccatagliata." Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 49, no. 3/4 (1970): 63–69, pp. 63–68.

Brejon de Lavergnée, A., "Tableaux de Poussin et d'autres artistes français dans la collection Dal Pozzo: deux inventaires inédits." Revue de l'Art 19 (1973): 79–96, p. 85.

Blunt, Anthony. "Review: The Complete Poussin." Burlington Magazine 116, no. 861 (December 1974): 760–763, p. 761.

Thuillier, J., ed. L'Opera Completa di Poussin. Milan, 1974, no. 130 (ill.). [as Sacra Famiglia (a tre figure).]

Thuillier, J., ed. Tout l'oeuvre peint de Poussin. Paris, 1974, no. 130 (ill.). [as Sacra Famiglia (a tre figure).]

Blunt, A. Nicolas Poussin, The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts 1958, Washington, D. C. National Gallery of Art. New York and London, 1976, 2. vols., pp. 159–160, 248, 263, pl. 144a (ill.).

Eisler, Colin T. Paintings From the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools Excluding Italian. Oxford, 1977, p. 272.

Cinco Siglos de Obras Maestras. Exh. cat., Museo de Jade. San Jose, 1978, cat. 28 (ill.).

Morse, John D. Old Master Paintings in North America. New York, 1979, p. 206.

Wild, D. Nicolas Poussin. Zurich, 1980, 2 vols., vol. 1, pp. 9, 99, 150–151; vol. 2, p. 102, no. 106 (ill.).

France in the Golden Age: Seventeenth-Century French Paintings in American Collections. Exh. cat., Grand Palais, et al. Paris, 1982, p. 369, no. 6 (ill.).

Wright, Christopher. Poussin Paintings: A Catalogue Raisonné. London, 1985, pp. 81, 86 (ill.), 194, no. 121; pp. 252, 266, 280.

Roberts, J. Master Drawings in the Royal Collection: From Leonardo da Vinci to the Present Day. London, 1986, p. 100 (ill.).

Rosenberg, P. and B. Brejon de Lavergnée. Panopticon italiano. Un diario di viaggio ritrovato (1759–1761) Saint-Non-Fragonard. Rome, 1986, p. 360. [see no. 104]

Standring, Timothy J. "Some Pictures by Poussin in the Dal Pozzo Collection: Three New Inventories." Burlington Magazine 130, no. 1025 (August 1988): 608-626, pp. 616–617 (ill.).

Thuillier, J. Nicolas Poussin. Paris, 1988, p. 197.

Mérot, Alain. Nicolas Poussin. New York, 1990, pp. 120, 176, 258, no. 37 (ill.).

Sparti, D.L. "Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo (1606-1689). An Unknown Collector." Journal of the History of Collections 2 (1990): pp. 7-19 (fig. 3).

Sparti, D.L. Le collezioni dal Pozzo. Storia di una famiglia e del suo museo nella Roma seicentesca. Modena, 1992, pp. 60–61 (fig. 17).

Thuillier, J. Nicolas Poussin. Paris, 1994, no. 153.

Rosenberg, Pierre and Louis-Antoine Prat. Nicolas Poussin 1594–1665. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. Paris, 1994, pp. 302–303, no. 101 (ill.).

Thuillier, Jacques. Nicolas Poussin. Paris, 1994, pp. 122, 257, no. 153; p. 277.

Blunt, Anthony. Nicolas Poussin. London, 1995, pp. 159–160, 248, 263, 544 (ill.).

Verdi, Richard. Nicolas Poussin 1594–1665. Exh. cat., Réunion des Musées Nationaux and Royal Academy of Arts. London, 1995, pp. 237–238, no. 48 (ill.).

Cropper, Elizabeth. "Conception and Deception: Poussin's Mirrors." Cleveland Studies in the History of Art 4 (1999): 76–95, p. 76.

De Grazia, Diane. "Color Plates, Catalogue of the Exhibition." Cleveland Studies in the History of Art 4 (1999): p. 17, pl. 9 (ill.); p. 176, pl. 53 (ill.).

Sawyer, Carol and Marcia Steele. "Poussin's 'Holy Family on the Steps': New Technical Discoveries, Comparisons, and the Washington Copy." Cleveland Studies in the History of Art 4 (1999): 112–160, pp. 142–144, nn. 23, 28, 29, 47; p. 148, fig. 102a–102b (detail); pp. 149–150, 152, n. 16; pp. 154–155, 160.

Wright, Christopher. Poussin: Paintings, a Catalogue Raisonné. London, 2007, pp. 163, 165, 172, pl. 121 (ill.), pp. 273, 288, 289, 299, 301.

Rosenberg, Pierre, and Keith Christiansen. "Poussin And Nature: Arcadian Visions." New York, 2008, pp. 62, 398, 401.

Glanville, Helen. Nicolas Poussin: Technique, Practice, Conservation. Firenze, 2015, pp. 90, 96, n. 5; p. 117, n. 18.

Poussin et Dieu. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 2015, pp. 146, 200, 206–207, no. 17 (ill.), 237.