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Home > Artist > Claude Lorrain
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Claude Lorrain

Born 1600——Died 1682
French Artist
Biography

Claude Lorrain: (Lorraine, c. 1600–Rome, November 21 or November 23, 1682), a French artist of the Baroque era who was active in Italy, is admired for his achievements in landscape painting.

Lorrain the second was born into poverty in the village of Chamagne, Vosges in Lorraine. He was one of five children. His actual name was Claude Gellée, but he is better known by the province in which he was born. Orphaned by age of twelve, he went to live at Freiburg with an elder brother, Jean Gellée, a woodcarver. He afterwards went to Rome to seek a livelihood and then to Naples, where he apprenticed for two years under Godfrey Waals. He returned to Rome in April 1625 and was apprenticed to Augustin Tassi. He apparently was able to tour in Italy, France and Germany, including his native Lorraine, suffering numerous misadventures. Karl Dervent, painter to the duke of Lorraine, kept him as assistant for a year; and at Nancy he painted architectural subjects on the ceiling of the Carmelite church.

In 1627 Lorrain returned to Rome. Here, two landscapes made for Cardinal Bentivoglio earned him the patronage of Pope Urban VIII. From about 1637 he rapidly achieved fame as a painter of landscapes and seascapes. He apparently befriended his fellow Frenchman Nicolas Poussin; together they would travel the Roman Campagna, sketching landscapes. Though both have been called landscape painters, in Poussin the landscape is a background to the figures; where as for Lorrain, despite figures in one corner of the canvas, the true subjects are the land, the sea, and the air. By report, he often engaged other artists to paint the figures for him, including Courtois and Filippo Lauri. He remarked to those purchasing his pictures that he sold them the landscape; the figures were gratis.

In order to avoid repetition of subjects, and also to expose the many spurious copies of his works, he made tinted outline drawings (in six paper books prepared for this purpose) of all those pictures sent to different countries; and on the back of each drawing he wrote the name of the purchaser. These volumes he named the Liber Veritatis (Book of Truth). This valuable work, engraved and published, has always been highly esteemed by students of the art of landscape. Claude, who suffered much from gout, died in Rome at the age of eighty-two, on either 21 November or 23 November 1682, leaving his considerable wealth between his only surviving relatives, a nephew and an adopted daughter (possibly his niece).

In Rome, not until the mid-17th century, were landscapes deemed fit for serious painting. Northern Europeans, such as the Germans Elsheimer and Brill, had made such views pre-eminent in some of their paintings (as well as Da Vinci in his private drawings[1]or Baldassarre Peruzzi in his decorative frescoes of vedute); but not until Annibale Carracci and his pupil Domenichino do we see landscape become the focus of a canvas by a major Italian artist. Even with the latter two, as with Lorrain, the stated themes of the paintings were mythic or religious. Landscape as a subject was distinctly unclassical and secular. The former quality was not consonant with Renaissance art, which boasted its rivalry with the work of the ancients. The second quality had less public patronage in Counter-Reformation Rome, which prized subjects worthy of "high painting," typically religious or mythic scenes. Pure landscape, like pure still-life or genre painting, reflected an aesthetic viewpoint regarded as lacking in moral seriousness. Rome, the theological and philosophical center of 17th century Italian art, was not quite ready for such a break with tradition.

In this matter of the importance of landscape, Lorrain was prescient. Living in a pre-Romantic era, he did not depict those uninhabited panoramas that were to be esteemed in later centuries, such as with Salvatore Rosa. He painted a pastoral world of fields and valleys not distant from castles and towns. If the ocean horizon is represented, it is from the setting of a busy port. Perhaps to feed the public need for paintings with noble themes, his pictures include demigods, heroes and saints, even though his abundant drawings and sketchbooks prove that he was more interested in scenography.

Lorrain was described as kind to his pupils and hard-working; keenly observant, but an unlettered man until his death. The painter Joachim von Sandrart is an authority for Claude's life (Academia Artis Pictoriae, 1683); Baldinucci, who obtained information from some of Claude's immediate survivors, relates various incidents to a different effect (Notizie dei professoni del disegno).

 

Art Work
A Seaport at Sunrise, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC776
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
A Seaport at Sunrise
Original Size:
72 x 96cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Aeneas Farewell to Dido in Carthago, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC777
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
Aeneas Farewell to Dido in Carthago
Original Size:
120 x 149.2cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Apollo and the Muses on Mount Helion Parnassus, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC778
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
Apollo and the Muses on Mount Helion Parnassus
Original Size:
98 x 135cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Coast Scene with the Rape of Europa, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC779
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
Coast Scene with the Rape of Europa
Original Size:
134.6 x 101.6cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Departure of Ulysses from the Land of the Feaci, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC780
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
Departure of Ulysses from the Land of the Feaci
Original Size:
119 x 150cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Embarkation of St Paula Romana at Ostia, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC781
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
Embarkation of St Paula Romana at Ostia
Original Size:
211 x 145cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Harbour Scene at Sunset, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC782
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
Harbour Scene at Sunset
Original Size:
74 x 99cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Italian Coastal Landscape, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC783
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
Italian Coastal Landscape
Original Size:
97 x 131cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Landscape With A Sacrifice To Apollo, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC784
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
Landscape With A Sacrifice To Apollo
Original Size:
cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Landscape with Acis and Galathe, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC785
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
Landscape with Acis and Galathe
Original Size:
100 x 135cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Landscape with Aeneas at Delos, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC786
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
Landscape with Aeneas at Delos
Original Size:
100 x 134cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Landscape with Cephalus and Procris Reunited by Diana, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC787
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
Landscape with Cephalus and Procris Reunited by Diana
Original Size:
102 x 132cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Landscape with Dancing Figures, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC788
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
Landscape with Dancing Figures
Original Size:
149 x 197cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Landscape with Dancing Figures The Mill, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC789
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
Landscape with Dancing Figures The Mill
Original Size:
cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
Landscape with Noli Me Tangere Scene, reproduction of Claude Lorrain
Art work details
Item Number:
WHC790
Original Artist:
Claude Lorrain
Original Name:
Landscape with Noli Me Tangere Scene
Original Size:
84.5 x 141cm
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Important:Before add the item to your shopping cart,Please make sure you have selected the size you want in the selection box above.
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