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(also Claude Lorrain; real name Claude Gellée). Born in 1600 in Chamagne, near Mirecourt, in Lorraine; died Nov. 23, 1682, in Rome. French painter.
Beginning in 1613 (?), Claude trained under A. Tassi in Rome, where he settled permanently in 1627. He was influenced by P. Bril, A. Elsheimer, and Annibale Carracci. Claude created his own ideal classical landscape, in which spatial unity is achieved through a subtle command of light and atmosphere. He was particularly interested in the effects of the diffused light of morning or evening hidden in a golden mist. This interest is particularly evident in The Sailing of St. Ursula (1646, National Gallery, London) and The Banishment of Hagar (1668, Old Pinakothek, Munich). Biblical, mythological, and pastoral subjects in Claude’s works are invariably subordinated to a general dreamy and elegiac mood, and the figures are purely incidental (for example, the landscape series Morning, Noon, Evening, and Night; 1651-72, Hermitage, Leningrad). His drawings from nature (pen, bister, and india ink) reflect a fresh approach to the various states of nature. Claude’s etchings reveal great technical skill in the rendering of variations of light and shade.
REFERENCESFriedlander, W. Claude Lorrain. Berlin, 1921.
Röthlisberger, M., Claude Lorrain: The Paintings, vols. 1-2. London, 1963.