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Classical Landscape

Classical Landscape, 1640-45

Claude (Claude Gellée) Lorrain
French, 1600-1682
Graphite, brown wash and white heightening on brown paper
8-1/8 x 11-1/2 in. (20.6 x 29.2 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

Not on View

Claude Lorrain was one of the great masters of the ideal landscape. He developed a style that was not as heroic or classical as Poussin's, but capable of expressing both a more poetic mood and a livelier sense of the variety and beauty of nature. In his drawings as well as his paintings, Claude achieved unparalleled subtlety in his treatment of atmosphere and light. The light usually emanates from the area of the sky just above the horizon so that we seem to look directly into it; spreading forward and outward through the composition, it permeates the whole landscape with its radiance and links foreground and background in a continuous spatial unity. The result is the idyllic, pastoral mood that so aptly characterizes Claude's landscapes.

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