ART: Decorum and Fury

A historic exhibition shows the force of reality and mystery in the work of Poussin

The big fall event of the French museums is the retrospective of Nicolas Poussin at the Grand Palais in Paris, marking the 400th anniversary of the painter's birth. The visitor is warned: this is not an easy show, and given the queues outside and the crowds within, it taxes the concentration of even the hardiest gallerygoer. It contains 245 paintings and preparatory drawings -- a fearsome demonstration of the borrowing power of Pierre Rosenberg, the show's chief organizer, who runs the Louvre's department of paintings. One may even wonder whether it is addressed to a general public at all. But for...

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