Around 1624 Nicolas Poussin also lived in Via Margutta, along with his wife Anna Maria and nephew Gaspar Doughet, a place chosen to stay given his poor health. The French painter had just arrived in the city and could count on the protection of Cardinal Barberini, a wealthy collector and patron, who allowed him to get to know many prominent personalities present in seventeenth-century Rome, such as Giovan Battista Marino, then a poet of the Medici family, who procured him many commissions. Poussin was avid for knowledge, and, during his life, he studied optics, geometry, and perspective; thanks to his friend Cassiano dal Pozzo, he studied antiquity a great deal, and tried his hand at many copies of Roman monuments. His stay in Rome was interrupted in 1640 when, after repeated invitations to return home, Poussin returned to Paris, following his faithful friend Paul Freart de Chantelou. Many were the works he composed between 1624 and 1640 in Rome, some of which are Venus and Adonis, now in Montpellier; Midas and Bacchus, now in Munich; Martyrdom of St. Erasmus, made for St. Peter's Basilica and now kept in Room XII of the Vatican picture gallery; and The Plague of Azoth, now at the Musee du Louvre in Paris.