• Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites

    Artist:
    Poussin, Nicolas. 1594-1665
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    98x133,5 cm

Poussin, Nicolas. 1594-1665

Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites

France, 1624-1625

The Battle of the Israelites and Amalekites and its companion piece The Battle of the Israelites and Amorites (now in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow) are the first works that Poussin produced in Italy. The subject, very rarely found in painting, is evidence of the artist’s awakened interest in the story of Moses, upon which he would draw repeatedly in the future. On the canvas in the Hermitage collection the artist depicted the battle between the Israelites and the warlike Amalekites in the wilderness of Rephidim. Moses commanded Joshua to fight and went up to the top of a hill where he prayed for his victory. “When Moses held his arms up, Israel prevailed; when he dropped his arms, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands became heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaaron and Hur held his arms up.” (Ex. 17: 11, 12). This decided the battle in favour of the Israelites. In both paintings one can feel the influence of the Raphael Loggias frescoes in the Vatican, which Poussin may have known, even before he left France, from prints and engravings. The composition is based on drawings that Poussin made of reliefs on Roman sarcophagi. The artist seized the opportunity to show on the canvas the tempestuous movement of the warriors clashing in a bitter and prolonged combat. He sought to convey the dynamic movement of the battle.

Title:

Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

98x133,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage between 1763 and 1774

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-1195

Category:

Collection:

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