The Louvre has collected the best works of art that delight visitors with unsurpassed craftsmanship. For 20 years, the painting by Nicolas Poussin “The Arcade Shepherds” was closed from prying eyes and only after its acquisition by the museum (1685) became its decoration.
The canvas, painted in oil, attracts attention with an idyllic landscape, bright colors, a compact composition and philosophical depth. In the serene country of Arcadia, which was associated with Paradise, a group of people suddenly finds a tombstone. Near an extraordinary find, an action unfolds.
The first glance falls on the woman. Her statics, beauty, serenity symbolize a calm life and harmony. The characteristic clothes flow beautiful folds, casting a golden color against a clear blue sky. Three men - personify the three stages of human life: youth, maturity and old age.
It was the latter, the man in years, who was most interested in the inscription on the stone. The shepherd runs a finger along it, trying to understand the meaning of what was written: "And I'm in Arcadia." The inscription is dual in meaning. “I” - death, which is inevitable or a speech about the deceased, who found peace in a serene country?
The shepherds are perplexed, the youngest of them with a misunderstanding and surprise looks at the woman, doubting that he will become dust. The woman’s hand lies on his shoulder, as if calming, although her gaze is directed at the reader. The shadow that his hand casts attracts attention. She looks like a stylized image of death, invisibly floating on the earth.
So, before us is the life cycle, the beginning of which is laid by a woman, and the end - by inevitable death. Between the two events is a life full of hope, inner strength, bright colors. It is no coincidence that a young shepherd in a red cape. Gradually, the fire of youth gives way to measured maturity and more restrained colors. Truly, the maelstrom of life.
Picture Three Feathers Description