Claude Lorrain (1600-1682) was a French painter, draughtsman, and etcher of the Baroque era.

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Paintings by Claude Lorrain

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Claude Lorrain (born Claude Gellée, le Lorrain (French); Claude (English); c. 1600-1682) was a French painter, draughtsman, and etcher of the Baroque era. He spent most of his life in Italy, and is one of the earliest important artists, apart from his contemporaries in Dutch Golden Age painting, to concentrate on landscape painting. His landscapes are usually turned into the more prestigious genre of history paintings by the addition of a few small figures, typically representing a scene from the Bible or classical mythology.

By the end of the 1630s, he was established as the leading landscapist in Italy and enjoyed large fees for his work. These gradually became larger, but with fewer figures, more carefully painted, and produced at a lower rate. He was not generally an innovator in landscape painting, except in introducing the Sun into many paintings, which had been rare before. He is now thought of as a French painter but was born in the independent Duchy of Lorraine, and almost all his painting was done in Italy; before the late 19th century he was regarded as a painter of the “Roman School”. His patrons were also mostly Italian, but after his death, he became very popular with English collectors, and the UK retains a high proportion of his works.

As seen in his painting The Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba, Claude was innovative in including the Sun itself as a source of light in his paintings.

In Rome, Bril, Girolamo Muziano and Federico Zuccaro and later Elsheimer, Annibale Carracci, and Domenichino made landscape vistas pre-eminent in some of their drawings and paintings (as well as Da Vinci in his private drawings or Baldassarre Peruzzi in his decorative frescoes of vedute); but it might be argued that not until Claude’s generation, did landscape completely reflect an aesthetic viewpoint which was seen as completely autonomous in its moral purpose within the cultural world of Rome.

Artworks of Claude Lorrain

Landscape with Apollo Guarding the Herds of Admetus and Mercury stealing them (1645), Doria Pamphilj Gallery
Liber Veritatis 137, Coast scene with a battle on a bridge , of which two painted versions are known
Landscape with Merchants (The Shipwreck) (1630) – National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
The Flight into Egypt (1635), Indianapolis Museum of Art
Landscape with Goatherd (1636) – National Gallery, London
The Ford (1636) – Metropolitan Museum, New York
Port with Villa Medici (1637) – Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
Finding of Moses (1638), Museo del Prado, Madrid
Pastoral Landscape, (1638) – Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Seaport (1639) – National Gallery, London
Seaport at Sunset (Odysseus) (1639), Musée du Louvre, Paris
Village Fête, (1639), Musée du Louvre, Paris
View of Campagna (c. 1639), Royal Collections
Embarkation of Saint Paula Romana at Ostia (1639), Museo del Prado, Madrid
The Embarkation of St. Ursula (1641) – National Gallery, London
The Disembarkation of Cleopatra at Tarsus (1642), Musée du Louvre, Paris.
The Disembarkation of Cleopatra at Tarsus (1642–43), Musée du Louvre, Paris
The Trojan Women Setting Fire to their Fleet (c.1643), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Brook and Two Bridges, Voyage of Jacob, The Angel’s Visit
View of the Church Santa Trinità Dei Monti – drawing, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg