In 1612, at the age of eighteen, Poussin went to Paris in search of improvement, where he devoted himself to studying the best works to which he could gain access (for the fine arts were then at a low ebb in France) with the greatest assiduity. In 1620, according to Felibien, the Jesuits celebrated the canonization of the founder of their order, Ignatius Loyola and St. Francis Xavier, on which occasion they determined to display a series of pictures by the first artists in Paris, representing the miracles performed by their patron saints. Of these, Poussin painted six in distemper, in an incredibly short space of time, and when the exhibition came off, although he had been obliged to neglect detail, his pictures excited the greatest admiration on account of the grandeur of conception, and the elegance of design displayed in them. They obtained the preference over all the others, and brought Poussin immediately into notice.