Landscape during a Thunderstorm with Pyramus and Thisbe, Nicolas Poussin
Nicolas Poussin
Landscape during a Thunderstorm with Pyramus and Thisbe
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Nicolas Poussin

Landscape during a Thunderstorm with Pyramus and Thisbe, 1651

191 x 274 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1931
On display, 2nd upper level, Old Masters, room 11


About the Work

Nicolas Poussin executed this painting in Rome in 1651 for Cassiano dal Pozzo, a well-known scholar and patron of the arts. Its literary source is the tragic Romeo-and-Juliet-like story of Pyramus and Thisbe, told by Ovid in his ‘Metamorphoses’. Poussin chose the dramatic moment in which Thisbe discovers her dead lover. He has thrown himself upon his sword in the belief that Thisbe has been torn to pieces by a lioness. Here, the artist brilliantly combined the tragedy experienced by the characters with an ideal landscape and a depiction of the forces of nature.

Audio & Video

  • Basic information
  • Focus on art history
  • Focus on material
  • Highlights of the Städel Collection
  • KunstIStück – Nicolas Poussin: Gewitterlandschaft mit Pyramus und Thisbe
    Sammlungshighlights des Städel Museums in unterhaltsamen und informativen Filmen – das sind die Kunst|Stücke. Entdecken Sie spannende Details zu Kunstwerken aus ungewöhnlichen Blickwinkeln in unter zwei Minuten. Nicolas Poussin: Gewitterlandschaft mit Pyramus und Thisbe, 1651, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main.
  • ASK AN ARTWORK – Fragen an die Kunst, Antworten aus dem Home Office: Nicolas Poussin
    Ein gewaltiges Gewitter tobt über Poussins "Gewitterlandschaft mit Pyramus und Thisbe". Die Landschaft scheint der Hauptakteur zu sein, oder warum sind die Figuren nur so klein dargestellt? Und was ist mit ihnen passiert? Wurde der Mann vom Blitz getroffen? In der Serie ASK AN ARTWORK beantwortet die Kunsthistorikerin Anna Huber (Mitarbeiterin der Abteilung Bildung und Vermittlung) aus dem Home Office Fragen, die wir an die Kunst haben. Denn während der Coronakrise kommt das Städel zu euch: #StaydelAtHome Findet Nicolas Poussins Werk "Gewitterlandschaft mit Pyramus und Thisbe" in der Digitalen Sammlung: A vast storm blasters over Poussins "Landscape during a Thunderstorm with Pyramus and Thisbe". The landscape seems to be the main actor, or why is it, that the figures are shown so small? And what happend to them? Was the man struck by lightning? In the series ASK AN ARTWORK art historian Anna Huber (Educational Department of the Städel Museum) answers the questions that we have for art – from home office. Because during the Corona-Crisis, if you can’t come to the Städel Museum, then the Städel Museum will come to you: #StaydelAtHome Find Nicolas Poussin's "Landscape during a Thunderstorm with Pyramus and Thisbe" in our Digital Collection:

Work Data

Basic Information

Landscape during a Thunderstorm with Pyramus and Thisbe
Contractor, employer
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1931

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif
Persons Shown
Associated Persons and Institutions
Illustrated Passage
  • Ovid: Metamorphosen, 4. Buch, Pyramus und Thisbe, 142


  • 25I city-view, and landscape with man-made constructions
  • 26E2 lightning, flash of lightning, thunderbolt
  • 25H214 lake

Research and Discussion


Object History
Auftrag von Cassiano del Pozzo (1588-1657)
Familie del Pozzo, bis 1729
Sir William Morice, Werrington, Devonshire, seit spätestens 1750
vererbt an seinen Cousin Humfrey Morice (1723-1785)
verkauft an Lord Ashburnham, 1768
Verst. Christie's (Sale of the Ashburnham Collection), London, an Wilmot, 20. Juli 1850
Max Rothschild, London, 1923
Asti, Paris, 1926
Kunsthandlung Julius Böhler, München
verkauft an das Städelsche Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, 1931.


Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.

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