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Current time:0:00Total duration:2:03

Video transcript

we're in the Louvre and we're looking at a Nicolas Poussin ad in Arcadia ego we have four figures we see ancient shepherds and a very classical female figure clearly based on ancient Greek and Roman sculpture as are all the figures actually and that treatment of the drapery that looks back to ancient Greece in the Classical period now right in the center the largest most dominant form is a tomb this huge solid block of masonry and a figure whose pointing at it and looks back at the female figure almost alarmed at what they're reading there's a little ambiguity is it possible that are having a difficulty reading do they not know this language or you're right are they disturbed by the message I too am in Arcadia meaning even death is in Arcadia and the landscape has a Setting Sun there's a strong shadow on the tomb cast by the kneeling figure and there's a real sense of a poetic passage of time that issue of time is important if you look at the tomb it's not new although it's stone it's been harmed over time and so we get a sense that it is even more ancient than these ancient people and this is a bridge back in time you know Poussin was so interested in the archaeology of the past and resurrecting it through color through form through style and through subject and one gets a sense that in that looking back by Poussin to ancient Greek and Roman culture he must have had a sense of longing for the past and also a sense of the transience of human life and of what human beings make and in a sense the power of art to transcend time in this way both in terms of what's represented this tomb as a kind of art but then also of course this painting itself you