Painted by Nicolas Poussin, the Sacrament of Ordination, recently acquired by the Kimbell Art Museum, is a major milestone of Franco-Italian classicism of the seventeenth century. The magisterial painting depicts Christ's charge to Saint Peter and offers a profound meditation on nature, faith, and the epochal unfolding of sacred history. It is part of Poussin's acclaimed first series of the Seven Sacraments, painted for Cassiano dal Pozzo, one of the most enlightened collectors of the time. Jonathan W. Unglaub considers the painting in the context of Poussin's two series of the Seven Sacraments and discusses how Poussin ingeniously employed the landscape setting and seemingly incidental figures to imbue the deceptively straightforward painting with a broad sweep of history.
Poussin's Sacrament of Ordination is the seventh volume in the Kimbell Masterpiece Series. These richly illustrated books by leading experts focus on major works from the collection, presenting the latest advances in scholarship and new insights that are of interest both to specialists and to the wider public.