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Parting Shot 

click to enlarge Claude Lorrain, _An Artist Sketching with a Second Figure Looking On_, black chalk with dark brown wash on white paper, 8 1/2 “ x 12 5/8”, 1635-40.
  • Claude Lorrain, _An Artist Sketching with a Second Figure Looking On_, black chalk with dark brown wash on white paper, 8 1/2 “ x 12 5/8”, 1635-40.
Renowned primarily for his skill in representing the sun at dawn and dusk, Claude Lorrain (1600-1682) is considered one of the masters of ideal-landscaping, an art form that seeks to present a picture of nature more beautiful than nature itself. Light was the key element used by Lorrain; he used the sun to illuminate a whole picture for the first time in art.

Lorrain’s drawings are as lauded as his paintings. They are considered to be far more spontaneous, often depicting figures wearing biblical or classical costumes, a departure from his earlier works in which figures wore contemporary dress. His series of drawings that show artists working in the open air are thought by some to be self-portraits.

This piece, An Artist Sketching with a Second Figure Looking On, is part of the exhibit, “Claude Lorrain: The Painter as Draftsman,” which will be on view at the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute in Williamstown through April 29. (413) 458-2303; www.clarkart.edu.

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