Our muses are perished; withered are our laurels;
ruined is our Parnasus: the woods are all become mute;
the valleys and the mountains for sorrow are grown deaf;
Nymphs or satyrs are found no more among the woods:
the shepherds have lost their song…

—Jacopo Sannazaro, Arcadia, 1504

All the works in the Arcadian project owe their origin (source) to Nicolas Poussin’s famous painting, The Arcadian Shepherds, 1635-36 (see above). In it Poussin depicts a large tomb in the midst of a wooded landscape surrounded by four shepherds who appear to be contemplating the inscription on the tomb: “ET IN ARCADIA EGO.” The mystery of its meaning troubles the idyllic tranquility of an idealized Nature.