Claude Lorrain (1600-1682), the greatest landscape painter of his time, is also known as Claude Gelée or simply as Claude. He was called Lorrain merely because he was born in the province of Lorraine, in France. He lived in Rome as a young man, and apart from a brief spell in Nancy, in Northeast France, he remained in Italy for the rest of his life. It is therfore not surprising that the romantic landscapes for which Lorrain was famous owe far more to the Italian than to the French tradition. The subtle lighting effects and feathery foliage, offset against ruins of Greco-Roman architecture, inspired many later painters, including Turner and even the french Impressionists. This book reproduces many of the Lorrain paintings and includes magnifications of details of these intricate works of art. There are also preparatory sketches and drawings for them. There is an informative text explaining the background to the paintings, supplemented by an essay by Natalia Serebriannaya, entitled "Claude Lorrain: the Artist’s evolution". The book ends with a detailed biography and a list of principal exhibition catalogues and inventories.
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