Claude Lorrain (1602-1682)

Claude Gellée of Lorraine (1600-1682)

MorrainClaude Lorrain is one of the most important landscape artists. He was send to Rome at the age of 13 to learn the profession of pastry cook and it was the happy circumstance that he was placed in the household of the painter Agostino Tassi that brought him to the art. There he encountered the work of Nicolas Poussin. He became known as the master of the ideal landscape, a view of nature more beautiful and harmonious than nature itself; his landscapes and coastal scenes contain architectural fragments and figures. His reputation is based particularly on his sensitivity to the tonal values of light and atmosphere. By the 1630s he was well known and successful, with illustrious patrons among the French and Italian aristocracy.His earliest etchings saw light in 1630. He was so successful that from the early 1630's on his work was copied and sold in Rome. This inspired him to his most important work Libro di Verita: a collection of drawings after his paintings containing all the original work he made. This Liber Veritas was engraved by Richard Earlom in the later 17th century and did add to the knowledge of Claude's work. His work influenced the Dutch painters in Rome in the 1630s and '40s, as well as the entire course of European landscape painting. Some 250 paintings and over 1,000 drawings by him survive.

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