The exhibition will include over twenty paintings and drawings from public and private collections in Europe and the USA, the most celebrated being Poussin's Dance to the Music of Time. Considered to be one of his most complex pieces, this painting, on loan from the Wallace Collection, illustrates the perpetual cycle of the human condition through dancers symbolizing the succession of poverty, labor, wealth, and pleasure which, in excess, circles back to poverty.
In contrast to prior interpretations of Poussin's work as cold, overly civilized, and Poussin and the Dance aims to challenge this perception through explorations of wild, raucous, and joyous scenes that showcase how Poussin grappled with the challenges of arresting movement and capturing the expressive potential of the body through his depictions of dance.
Alongside the London exhibition will be a series of film screenings entitled Dance to the Music of Our Time that will encompass films screenings, talks, and performances by three London-based contemporary artists who will take viewers through the exhibition and explore common themes found in Nicolas Poussin's work through the use of storytelling, choreography, and contemporary artistic techniques.
After closing in London on January 2, 2022, the exhibition will travel to the J.Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles (15 February - 8 May 2022).