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Landscape with a Piping Shepherd

Landscape with a Piping Shepherd, c. 1629-32

Claude (Claude Gellée) Lorrain
French, 1600-1682
Oil on canvas
25-3/4 x 37-1/2 in. (65.4 x 95.3 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

Claude Lorrain was one of the great masters of the ideal landscape. He developed a style that was neither so heroic nor so classical as Poussin's, but capable of expressing both a more poetic mood and a livelier sense of the variety and beauty of nature. The keynote of this style is the treatment of atmosphere and light.

Here, the cool light of early morning is represented with great subtlety. The light in Claude's paintings 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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