Skip to Main Content
March 24, 2023

Acquisition: Claudine Bouzonnet-Stella

Claudine Bouzonnet-Stella, "Moses Striking the Rock"

Claudine Bouzonnet-Stella
Moses Striking the Rock, 1687
etching and engraving printed on two sheets of laid paper
image: 50 x 75.7 cm (19 11/16 x 29 13/16 in.)
plate: 54 x 78.5 cm (21 1/4 x 30 7/8 in.)
sheet: 55.4 x 79.4 cm (21 13/16 x 31 1/4 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund

Claudine Bouzonnet-Stella (1636–1697) was a French engraver, most of whose prints were after works by the classical painter Nicolas Poussin or by her uncle Jacques Stella, from whom she received her artistic education. The National Gallery of Art has acquired two large-scale prints, Moses Striking the Rock (1687) and Baby Moses Placed in the Nile by his Parents (1672). These prints are considered among the most adept and sensitive graphic translations of Poussin’s paintings.

In 1657 with the death of her uncle, Bouzonnet-Stella not only became the head of the family printmaking workshop, but she also was granted a special privilege that gave her the exclusive right to publish the designs she engraved, whether they were prints after the works by her late uncle or after works in his collection. Over the course of the next few decades, she refined her engraving talents by tackling multiple projects as well as studying work by other French 17th-century artists. Her late uncle was a friend of Poussin and his collection of paintings and drawings provided Bouzonnet-Stella the chance to study Poussin’s work closely.

The National Gallery’s two new prints depict seminal moments in the life of Moses. In Moses Striking the Rock, she translates Poussin’s 1649 painting of the same name that presents a scene from the Old Testament in which the prophet Moses strikes the ground to draw forth water for the Israelites. Baby Moses Placed in the Nile by his Parents is a mirror image of Poussin’s 1654 painting of The Exposition of Moses. It depicts the biblical scene of how one Israelite woman saved her newborn son after the Pharaoh of Egypt ordered all the first-born male babies to be killed.

Contact Information

General Information
For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]

Chief of Communications
Anabeth Guthrie
phone: (202) 842-6804
e-mail: [email protected]

The National Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.

Related Resources