Landscape with a Snake
This luxuriant, imaginary landscape has an illustrious forbear in the work of Poussin. To the elegantly drawn vegetation in the foreground, the result of sharing a studio with the landscapist Péquignot, the artist has added the pyramidal form of the mountain, giving a monumentality to the composition. A cultivated man, Girodet has enriched this landscape with a literary aspect: the scene could be a reference to the story in Virgil’s Georgics of Eurydice falling into Hell. The artist plays on the contrast between the gracefulness of the figure lying down on the right, inspired by the famous Ariadne Sleeping and used for the Endymion painted in the same period, and the feeling of the Sublime heightened by the imminent fall of the female figure: two of the focal points in the Neo-Classical aesthetic.