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The Revolutionary Nature of Claude Lorrain’s Drawings Explored During Exhibition Opening Lecture on February 4

For Immediate Release

January 26, 2007

Explore the revolutionary nature of Claude Lorrain’s drawings during “Claude’s Drawings: Nature into Art,” the opening lecture to the exhibition Claude Lorrain—The Painter as Draftsman: Drawings from the British Museum at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Held on Sunday, February 4 at 2 pm, the lecture by senior curator Richard Rand is free and held in the auditorium.

As one of the first artists of his time to systematically draw directly from nature, Claude portrayed the landscape with unprecedented conviction. His nature studies as much as his idealized oil paintings transformed the manner in which landscapes were depicted in art. In addition, his almost abstract, rapidly completed ink and wash studies of the Roman countryside demonstrate a pictorial and conceptual beauty that is strikingly modern.

Claude spent his working career in Rome, the 17th-century convergence point of Europe’s most inventive artists. There, he established a new landscape format—the classical landscape—a paradigm that remained in practice until the Impressionists in the 19th century. While he sought classical calm, order, and harmony in his paintings, the basis for this new response to nature and natural phenomena came through direct and prolonged observation of the landscape itself. Sketching outdoors, with his landscape/subject in front of him, as Claude did was considered novel at the time and his drawings reveal an intimate relationship with nature.

Claude Lorrain is on view at the Clark from February 4 to April 29, and will then travel to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. where it will be on view May 27 through August 12.

Claude Lorrain—The Painter as Draftsman: Drawings from the British Museum was organized by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in association with the British Museum. It is supported in part by the Parnassus Foundation, courtesy of Jane and Raphael Bernstein, by the National Endowment for the Arts, and by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.


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