‘The birth of Venus‘ after Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), oil on canvas. Made early 18th century in France.
Depicted on a bull, in the center of this picture, is Nereid Amphitrite, Neptune’s spouse. On either side are Nereids helping her to hold her elbow up and keep the pink blanket in the air. In the back two newts trumpeting her arrival.
On the right, gazing towards the beautiful Amphitrite, is Neptune. He holds a trident, a traditional attribute of the god of the seas while smoothly controlling four fierce and wild horses. Above him arises Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Four cupids flying above Nereid Amphitrite are symbolizing the love and marriage of Neptune and Amphitrite by throwing myrtle, roses and other flowers. Two other cupids are shooting arrows.
Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665)
Nicolas Poussin was a French baroque painter who spent most of his life working in Rome. He was a huge inspiration for other artists such as Paul Cézanne and Jacques-Louis David. Most of his works were focused on mythological and religious themes and were often sold to Italian and French collectors. He started his artistic career in Paris around 1612 where he completed his earliest works. His enthusiasm for Italian works made him travel to Rome in 1624 where he specialized in typical Renaissance and Baroque painting styles.
The word after is often used in museums, art galleries and antique stores. The meaning is very simple, it is a copy of that specific artist’s work where the word ‘after’ is placed before or after the artist’s name. It is very important not to forget that the word ‘after’ has nothing to do with ‘faking’ the artist’s work.
An (unknown) artist can paint a copy of a famous work which is exhibited in a museum. This copy if not a fake, because the (unknown) artist is not claiming to be the original artist of the work. When the (unknown) artist wants to sell his own copy, the word ‘after’ is placed before or after the original artist’s work. Now, the work is not a fake, but a nicely made copy.
Using the word ‘after’ for copies has already been done for centuries. But there are different levels of ‘afters’. An ‘after’ can already be an ‘after’ when an (unknown) artist is copying in 2020 the work ‘The starry night’ by Van Gogh. The (unknown) artist is far removed from the original artist by time and association. A very high level of an ‘after’ is when the original artist is involved or approves the ‘after’. Even an original signature by the original artist can be placed on the ‘after’.
Even tough an ‘after’ is a copy, the value and quality can still be very high and ‘afters’ will stay highly collectible.