Jim Cuno inteviews art historian T.J. Clark about his experiences viewing paintings by Nicolas Poussin. Clark documented his time looking at Poussin in the 2006 book The Sight of Death: An Experiment in Art Writing.
Clark remarks: “You look at a complex object like this, and you begin to ask, hm, what is actually being intended here? What’s being said about the nature of the scene and the scene’s possible typicality, what it might say about the human condition? I mean, Poussin is the kind of mind that very much thinks in these terms, very confident about phrases like ‘the human condition.’ He thinks that something general can be said and must be said in painting about that.”