In his own quiet way, Claude Lorrain (1604/5–1682) revolutionized Western painting. He spent his career in Rome, the center of the art world in the seventeenth century. There he produced perfectly composed and beautifully naturalistic landscape paintings that influenced artists for the next two hundred years. He drew incessantly and ranks among the greatest of draftsmen, both for the sheer quality of his drawings and for their enormous variety. They show us the artist's creativity at work, from the astonishing fluency of his nature sketches to the rigorous discipline of his studies for paintings, to the virtuosity of his elaborate drawings from the famous Liber Veritatis (Book of Truth), his album of drawn copies of his paintings. Claude always drew with his paintings in mind, but he also took immense pleasure in drawing for its own sake.
Claude Lorrain: The Painter as Draftsman
is the first exhibition in the United States organized from the extraordinary holdings of the British Museum in London, which owns nearly half of Claude's extant drawings. The exhibition also includes a selection of Claude's etchings and thirteen of his oil paintings, the better to illustrate his artistic process and to demonstrate the enduring themes of his art.
This exhibition 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 Humanities.
This exhibition was organized by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in association with The British Museum.
February 4–April 29, 2007
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute