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The Finding of Moses

Artist: Nicolas Poussin
(Les Andelys, 1594 – Rome, 1665)

Date: ca. 1647
Medium: pen, brush, brown ink, wash on paper
Dimensions: 161 × 245 mm
Classification: drawing
Inventory Number: 2881
Department: Prints and Drawings

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The Finding of Moses

Poussin painted three versions of the Old Testament scene in which the Pharaoh's daughter and her attendants find the child Moses in a basket floating on the waters of the Nile and rescue him. This drawing is one of the studies for a painting executed in 1647 for the banker Pointel; the painting and two further drawings related to it can now be found in the Louvre, Paris. On the balanced composition of the Budapest sketch, built up by strong effects of light and shade, the cenral figure of the infant Moses is surrounded by a group of female figures; the river god personifying the Nile can be seen to the right of them, while the scene is blocked by the standing man steering a boat on the left.