Claude Lorrain (Claude Gellée)

French (1604 - 1682)
Claude Lorrain (Claude Gellée) Landscape with Apollo and the Muses 1652


Born 1604
Died 1682
Nationality French

Claude Gellée, named 'Lorraine' after his birth place, painted idealised landscapes evoking the world of classical antiquity, suffused with beautifully observed light. He spent his long working life in Rome, producing easel paintings for wealthy and influential patrons. The details in his carefully structured compositions were based on studies and sketches made directly from nature in the Roman countryside. In the eighteenth century his paintings were purchased enthusiastically by British aristocrats on the Grand Tour and influenced the garden designs of their country houses. They also inspired British landscape painters including Richard Wilson, Turner and Constable.

Glossary terms

  • A general term for European art and architecture from the 17th to the mid 18th centuries. It particularly refers to works characterised by a sense of movement and theatricality.