Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Landscapes: Back to the Masters, Pt. III -- Day 3/4

Walk: Mindful Body, Balboa Cafe
Distance: 2 miles and take yoga class

Claude Lorrain (nee Gellee), known and signed as Claude
ca 1605-1682, French painting in Italy

Pastoral Landscape - Claude Lorrain (Gellee) -
Pastoral Landscape, oil on canvas, 21.26"x16.54"

View of Tivoli at Sunset - Claude Lorrain (Gellee) -
View of Tivoli at Sunset, 1644, oil on canvas, 39.5"x53.9" (Legion of Honor, San Francisco)

It could be said that Claude Lorrain was every bit the Romantic that his friend, Poussin, was the Rationalist.  He was a superior draftsman and his landscapes are rooted in recognizable nature around Rome, Tivoli and Genoa primarily.  But his overwhelming interest was in atmosphere and the effects of light.  He Adored light, and, virtually without exception, a distant dawn or sunset is the actual centerpiece of his work.

His natural world is poetic, idealized, beautifully poignant.  Next in order of Claude's loves was animals, particularly cows. People were painted with respect - and probably to ensure patronage because, in his time, the thought of a painting simply about nature would have seemed ludicrous to the art world.  Not to Claude; he knew he was painting landscapes even if his patrons did not.  And thus, with him, quietly began the landscape genre which wended its way through England (Constable, Turner), France (Millet and the Barbizon School painters, the Impressionists), America (The Hudson River School, Homer), the Dutch of course and to the many other important landscape painters that followed Claude.  

John Constable (Premier English landscape artist, 1776-1837) described Claude Lorrain as "the most perfect landscape painter the world ever saw", and declared that in Claude's landscape "all is lovely - all amiable - all is amenity and repose; the calm sunshine of the heart."

Imaginary View of Delphi with a Procession - Claude Lorrain (Gellee) -   The Enchanted Castle - Claude Lorrain (Gellee) - Seaport at Sunset - Claude Lorrain (Gellee) -
Imaginary View of Delphi with Procession                Enchanted Castle                                     Seaport at Sunset


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