3 hours in the Museum
- Inventory number
- Poussin, Nicholas
- 1630 - 1631
- 145 cm x 197 cm
- On display
- Royal Collection (Carlo Mattei Collection, Rome; Banqueting House, London, 02/06/1684?; Jean Neytet de la Ravoye Collection, 1701, n. 8; Collection of the Duke of Gramont; Jacques Meijers Collection, Rotterdam, 1714?; Collection of Felipe V, Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia, 1727; Collection of Felipe V, La Granja Palace, “pieza de la chimenea junto al tocador”, 1746, n. 95; Royal Palace of Aranjuez, Madrid, “pieza de música”, 1794, n. 95; Aranjuez Palace, “Consejo de Estado”, 1818, n. 95)
Parnassus, the mythological mountain of Apollo and the Muses is the scene for a celebration of the Arts, especially Poetry. Apollo offers the nectar of the gods to a poet, probably Homer, who is crowned with a laurel wreath by Calliope, the muse of epic poetry. The putti in the foreground offer the poets the water of inspiration that flows from the spring of Castalia, personified by the nude woman. This work is based on a fresco by Raphael at the Vatican and may pay homage to the Italian poet, Giovanni Battista Marino (1569-1625), who was Poussin's patron.
A preparatory drawing for this work is in the G. Wildenstein collection. There is also an engraving of it, made by Jean Dughet before 1667.