|Poussin's Ideal Landscape (click image to enlarge)|
Known as Ideal Landscape, this Poussin circa 1650 painting has virtually escaped the scrutiny of those interested in connecting Poussin to the Rennes-le-Chateau mysteries. On the surface, Ideal Landscape appears to be little more than just that. (If the image that appears here is too small to pick out fine details of this painting, a larger image may be found at this link.) The focal points of the central village and the lonely mountain almost draw one's eye away from the understated activity going on in the painting. At the bottom center, Poussin has included what appears to be two shepherd-like travelers asking directions from a supine figure. Up and to the right of that, are figures watering horses that reinforce the notion that the central village is some sort of way-point. Smaller still are the figures walking towards the buildings on the rise above the stream/river. Once again, there are hints of motion in the minutia of Poussin's work.
There's one of these nearly imperceptible figures that caught my attention when viewing the original. Slightly above the heads of the two shepherd-like travelers asking for directions is a horse with two riders. The two riders on a single horse is of course reminiscent of the seal of the Knights Templar. The symbol was used to exemplify the vow of poverty that each Templar Knight took. The symbol also evokes the notion of sacrifice for one's brother and therefore for the order.
|Two Riders on a Single Horse Highlighted (click image to enlarge)|
|Seal of the Knights Templar|