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Claude : the poetic landscape

Author: Humphrey Wine
Publisher: London : National Gallery Publications, 1994.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Calm, beautiful and serene . . . fleecy skies, resplendent valleys, campagnas rich with all the cheerful blush of fertilization' is how another great landscape painter, Turner, described the landscapes of the seventeenth-century artist Claude Lorrain. Claude has long been admired for his panoramic views and luminous effects of light, yet it is less often remarked that many of these landscapes represent incidents
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Genre/Form: London (1994)
Exhibitions
Named Person: Claude Lorrain; Claude; Claude Lorrain
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Humphrey Wine
ISBN: 1857090454 9781857090451 1857090462 9781857090468
OCLC Number: 29846138
Notes: Published to accompany an exhibition at the National Gallery, London, 26 January - 10 April 1994.
Description: 120 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 28 cm.
Contents: Foreword / Neil MacGregor --
Claude: The Poetic Landscape --
Catalogue. Painter of Nature. Religious Subjects. Fables and Legends. Virgil. Ovid.
Responsibility: Humphrey Wine.

Abstract:

Calm, beautiful and serene . . . fleecy skies, resplendent valleys, campagnas rich with all the cheerful blush of fertilization' is how another great landscape painter, Turner, described the landscapes of the seventeenth-century artist Claude Lorrain. Claude has long been admired for his panoramic views and luminous effects of light, yet it is less often remarked that many of these landscapes represent incidents from literature - particularly the Bible and the classical poetry of Ovid and Virgil.

Claude: The Poetic Landscape looks at Claude as a painter of stories, bringing together some twenty-eight paintings and over fifty drawings to examine how important the subjects of his pictures were to the artist, and how far they determined the form of his compositions.

Most of the paintings and drawings discussed and illustrated here are from public and private collections in Britain, which are especially rich in his work.

They include the celebrated pair of Altieri Claudes from Anglesey Abbey - The Father of Psyche sacrificing to Apollo and The Arrival of Aeneas before the City of Pallanteum; several works from Holkham Hall, including the beautiful Perseus and the Origin of Coral; Ascanius shooting the Stag of Silvia from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and its pair, View of Carthage with Dido and Aeneas, from the Hamburg Kunsthalle; and a large number of drawings from the British Museum.

The National Gallery's own collection of Claudes is unrivalled, and these too are examined here, among them the particularly well preserved Seaport with the Embarkation of Saint Ursula and the haunting picture known as The Enchanted Castle, which depicts an episode from the story of Cupid and Psyche.

Claude often inscribed the subjects of his pictures on the paintings themselves or on the records he made of them in his book of drawings known as the Liber Veritatis (now in the British Museum), indicating that for him and his patrons the precise story represented was of importance. In his informative and accessible account, Humphrey Wine explains that Claude's landscapes cannot be seen simply as enchanting views.

They are peopled with gods, saints and heroes, and provide an idealised setting for incidents from myth, history and the Bible, which may often have carried special associations for Claude's aristocratic patrons. The introductory essay is followed by a catalogue where all the works discussed are illustrated, grouped by subject, and accompanied by summaries of the stories on which they are based.

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