Nicolas Poussin, Landscape with a Man killed by a Snake
Inkjet on watercolour paper
85 x 56 cms
The Drama that unfolds in Nicolas Poussin's, Landscape with a Man killed by a Snake, is almost dwarfed by the arcadian environment in which it is set, and it is one of the reasons I like this painting. It is almost as if such an unpleasant event should never happen in such a bucolic location.
I had no inclination to recreate his detailed landscape in this re-imagining -- partly because it would have been too laborious, and partly because my computer would not support that much data. Instead I decided to match a pre-existing photo with the 3D geometry in the foreground; a photo that, because it had a high dynamic range, digitally provided the lighting for the scene as well as functioning as a backdrop. Because of this workaround, it was also necessary to crop the image more tightly, hence bringing the action into the middle ground.
The theatrical pose of the woman -- a pose familiar in classic art -- was retained because her central position is a natural focus point, and she encapsulates the horror of the event.