Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) was the French painter who made “The Shepherds of Arcadia” in 1638; a painting which was later adapted for the relief sculpture at the Shugborough Monument sometime in 1756.
When Nicolas Poussin left for Rome in 1624, he was still considered Painter to Louis XIII of France between 1638 and 1639. Could Louis XIII have been the one who commissioned Poussin to paint this masterpiece in 1638 partly to commemorate the new Prime Meridian? Remember, it was only in 1634 when King Louis XIII established and promulgated the Ferro’s Meridian, and it was 1638 when Poussin finished this painting.
If you take a close look at the painting, you will notice that the pointing fingers of the two shepherds are perpendicular to each other; this I believe represent the two perpendicular lines of the Ferro’s Meridian and the Equator.
Remember also that Atlantis lies at the intersection between the Ferro’s Meridian and the Equator. This means that that this painting might have been commissioned to commemorate the discovery of Atlantis as well.
The perpendicular posturing of the two shepherds’ fingers was a significant change from Poussin’s earlier version of “The Shepherds of Arcadia” in 1629:
Louis XIII's powerful minister Cardinal Richelieu tried to persuade Poussin to return to France. Eventually Poussin reluctantly acceded to this request, journeying to Paris in 1640 from Rome. He was given the title of first Painter to the king, a yearly pension, and lodging in a pavilion of the Tuileries Palace.
The question that begs answering now is: was Nicolas Poussin a Rosicrucian, and was this painting meant to convey an important Rosicrucian secret as well?