Chateaubriand's Monument to Poussin
The great French painter Nicolas Poussin (1596-1665), who spent much of his working life in Rome, is buried in the church of San Lorenzo in Lucina. The monument to Poussin was erected between 1828 and 1832 by François-René, vicomte de Chateaubriand (1768-1848), the French writer and diplomat.
The dedication reads (in translation): '...Chateaubriand to Nicolas Poussin, for the glory of the arts and the honour of France'. The bust is signed P. Lemoyne and the bas-relief of Poussin's most famous painting, Et in Arcadia Ego, is by Leon Vaudoyer.
The epitaph proclaims: PARCE PIIS LACRYMIS VIVIT PUSSINUS IN VRNA/VIVERE QVI DEDERAT NESCIVS IPSE MORI/HIC TAMEN IPSE SILET SI VIS AVDIRE LOQUENTVM/MIRVM EST IN TABVLIS VIVET ET ELOQVITVR. In essence, it states that Poussin is silent now, but if you are prepared to listen, you can hear him speaking through his pictures.
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My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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