Nicolas Poussin's Realm of flora : painted poetry in seventeenth-century Rome
Costrini, Amy Marie
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In Nicolas Poussin’s painting of the Realm of Flora in Dresden, the artist reinterprets Ovidian mythology in a manner inspired by the contemporary poetry of Giambattista Marino. The influence of Marino’s refashioning of Ovidian poetry can also be seen in Gianlorenzo Bernini’s sculpture of Apollo and Daphne in the Galleria Borghese and Caravaggio’s painting of Narcissus in the Palazzo Corsini, Rome. However, only Poussin was inspired by the poetry of Marino to create his own visual poetry. As a result, the Realm of Flora is an invention of the artist’s own mind, drawn from Ovidian mythology, composed according to the poetic theory of the modes, and guided by the principles of Marino’s lyric poetry. This close examination of the Realm of Flora reveals the painting to be an example of painted poetry by Nicolas Poussin.