Claude Lorrain (about 1600-1682), Ascanius Shooting the Stag of Silvia, 1682, Oil on canvas, 120 x 150 cm, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.

Claude Lorrain (about 160001682), Landscape with Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalen ('Noli me tangere'), 1681, Oil on canvas, 84.9 x 141,1 cm, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main.

Claude Lorrain and the Beginnings of the Enchanted Landscape

Claude Lorrain (about 1600-1682), Landscape with a Tower, about 1635-40, Pen and grey/brown wash on off-white paper, ruled in red chalk, Städel Musuem, Frankfurt am Main.

Claude Lorrain (about 1600-1682), A Dancer with a Tambourine and a Bag-piper, about 1648, Black chalk, grey and brown wash on paper, 16,6 x 22,3 cm, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main.

Claude Lorrain (about 1600-1682), The Square Tower Ruptured to Reveal the Round Tower (Firework Series), 1637,Etching, 19,4 x 14,0 cm, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main.


Städel Museum
Städelsches Kunstinstitut
und Städtische Galerie
Dürerstraße 2
+ 49(0)69-605098-170
Frankfurt am Main
Exhibition Building
Claude Lorrain, The Enchanted Landscape
February 3-May 6 2012

“In Claude Lorrain, nature declares itself eternal,” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe noted enthusiastically on the French Baroque artist’s landscape paintings in 1818. According to Germany’s prince among poets and most famous “Grand Tourist,” Lorrain’s idealized, timeless landscapes possess “the highest truth, but no trace of reality.”

As of February 2012, the Städel Museum shows 130 works created at different points in Claude Lorrain’s (c. 1600 or 1604/05-1682) career, among them thirteen paintings and numerous drawings and prints. Prepared in partnership with the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, Claude Lorrain. The Enchanted Landscape presents the work of the most important landscape painter of the 17th century in a monographic exhibition for the first time in Germany after almost 30 years.

Besides five drawings and about 40 etchings, the Städel possesses a significant late painting by the master: Christ Appears before Mary Magdalene (Noli me tangere. In recent years, the Städel could acquire a rare etching from the spectacular Fireworks series and — supported by the Kulturstiftung der Länder and the Hessische Kulturstiftung — the outstanding drawing Dancer with Tambourine and Bagpiper.

The Städel considered this a wonderful occasion to highlight this artist’s achievements in a comprehensive research and exhibition project. Spanning several years, the preparation of the show, carried out in collaboration with the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, yielded new scholarly insights for an art-historical classification and assessment of Claude Lorrain. The results will now become generally available for the first time in a special presentation. “We can contribute new findings particularly concerning the function of the drawings and the very original way Claude Lorrain used them, but also regarding the only little researched engravings, their dating, and the circumstances of their genesis,” says Dr. Martin Sonnabend, curator of the exhibition and head of the Städel’s Collection of Prints before 1750.

Claude Gellée, known as Le Lorrain (“The Lotharingian”), Claude Lorrain, or traditionally just Claude in English, was born in Chamagne, a village near Nancy, in Lorraine in 1600. Still in his youth, he went to Rome where he settled permanently excepting a short return to his homeland in 1625.

From his beginnings, Claude primarily devoted himself to landscape painting: his pictures were such a success that he soon received commissions from the pope, powerful cardinals, and European princes. From the mid-1630s till the end of his days, Claude, who had no big workshop and virtually no pupils, had to work hard to satisfy the demand for his paintings.

During his lifetime, Claude was held in particularly high regard in Italy and France, while his art excited the utmost admiration in England and Germany in the 18th century. Travelers from England who, in keeping with their station, visited Italy on their Grand Tour acquired many of the artist’s paintings, and the greater part of his surviving 1,100 drawings and several of his etchings are also to be found in English collections — which has particularly left its mark on English ornamental gardening.

Claude’s influence on German art of the 18th and 19th centuries does is not only manifest in Goethe’s assessment, but also in Classicist German landscape painting. The Städel Museum possesses several paintings that evidence this impact, e.g. Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein’s portrait Goethe in the Roman Campagna (1787) or Josef Anton Koch’s Landscape with Noah Offering a Sacrifice of Gratitude (1803).

These works are now on exhibit once more after the refurbishment measures in the garden wing have been concluded and the “Modern Art” collection of the Städel has become accessible again.

Curators of the exhibition are Dr. Martin Sonnabend (Städel Museum) and Dr. Jon Whiteley (Ashmolean Museum).

Catalogue Claude Lorrain. Die verzauberte Landschaft | The Enchanted Landscape, with a preface by Max Hollein and Christopher Brown and texts by Martin Sonnabend, Jon Whiteley, and Christian Rümelin; c. 260 Seiten, c. 190 illustrations, Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern 2011, ISBN 978-3941399-07-5 (German and English edition), 34.90 euros.

Claude Lorrain (about 1600-1682), View of Shrubbery with a Wall on the Right, about 1640, Black chalk, bruch and brown wash on white paper, 19,0 x 25,2 cm, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.


Claude Lorrain (1600-1682), Landscape with a Goatherd and Goats, 1636-1637, Oil on canvas, The National Gallery, London.

Painter as Draftsman as Painter, Claude Lorrain

Claude Lorrain (1600-1682), Apollo and the Muses on Mount Helicon, detail,
1682, Oil on canvas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Picture Fund.

Claude Lorrain (1600-1682), An Artist Sketching with a Second Figure Looking On, detail, 1635-1640, Black chalk with dark brown wash on white paper, The British Museum, London.



National Gallery
4th and Constitution Avenue NW

West Building, Main Floor, Galleries 72-78
Claude Lorrain — The Painter as Draftsman:
Drawings from the British Museum
May 27-August 12, 2007

Claude Lorrain was renowned for exquisitely balanced and composed landscapes that present a serene, timeless vision of nature. He laid the groundwork for the development of ideal landscape painting in Europe — and later in America — influencing artists as great as J.M.W. Turner in 19th-century England.

The art of one of France's greatest landscape draftsmen and painters travels to National Gallery of Art, when Claude Lorrain — The Painter as Draftsman: Drawings from the British Museum goes on view.

The exhibition includes 80 drawings from the extensive and important holdings at the British Museum.

In addition, a selection of paintings and etchings broadens the representation of Claude's achievement as an artist. Many of the works have never before been seen in the United States.

"Claude had an extraordinary ability to capture the natural world with a poetic wink," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "His works influenced many future artists and took nature one step further, making the beautiful even more beautiful."

This exhibition at the National Gallery of Art is organized by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in association with the British Museum. It is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Claude Gellée became known early on as Claude Lorrain, for the region in France where he was born. He traveled to Italy, where he studied in Naples and Rome, notably with the landscape and perspective painter Agostino Tassi (1578-1644).

Claude soon developed his own reputation as a painter of landscapes and seaports, which were celebrated for their strong impression of nature and their exquisite sensitivity to effects of light.

Claude's naturalism derives from his almost daily excursions into the countryside around Rome, where he contemplated the light and made numerous drawings from nature; such drawings are richly represented in the exhibition.

This close study of nature laid the basis for his oil paintings, executed back in his studio.

Claude's success reputedly led other artists to imitate his work, which may be why he began his Liber Veritatis (Book of Truth), an album of drawings that record his oil paintings and in many cases the names of their buyers.

The album could also have functioned as a catalogue of models to show future patrons. It was so carefully assembled that it clearly took on a greater meaning for Claude than as a mere catalogue of his works. Some of the greatest drawings from the album are in this exhibition.

The exhibition is divided into six rooms, each featuring a particular theme. Visitors will first encounter drawings taken from nature, followed by seaports and shipwrecks, views of Tivoli and the Roman countryside, pastoral landscapes and Roman landmarks, biblical and mythological subjects, and late heroic landscapes.

The selection includes many of Claude's most beautiful drawings in a rich variety of media.

The exhibition explores all aspects of his style and subject matter, from informal outdoor sketches of trees, rivers, and ruins, to formal presentation drawings and elaborate compositional designs for paintings.

Among the highlights are A Study of an Oak Tree (c. 1638) the surprisingly abstract view of The Tiber from Monte Mario Looking Southeast (c. 1640/1641), and A Grove of Pine Trees with a Ruined Tower (1638/1639).

Also featured among the many drawings from the Liber Veritatis, is the luminous Coast View with Aeneas and the Cumaean Sibyl (1673), which is drawn on rich blue paper.

Exhibition curators are Philip Conisbee, senior curator of European paintings and curator of French paintings, and Margaret Morgan Grasselli, curator and head of old master drawings.

Claude Lorrain (1600-1682), Landscape with the Rest on the Flight to Egypt, 1647, Oil on canvas, 102 x 134 cm, Gemäldegalerie, Dresden.