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Claude Lorrain (1600-1682), the greatest landscape painter of his time, is also known as Claude Gelée or simply as Claude. He is known as 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 north-east France, he remained in Italy for the rest of his life. It is therefore 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.
Serge Daniel is an art historian and lecturer, who has published many articles on the subject of art appreciation and on 17th-century French art.
Natalia Serebriannaya is curator of French 15th-17th-century painting at The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.
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