Some of the most important of French Classical Baroque artists were Claude Lorrain, Simon Vouet and Nicolas Poussin, and more than one third of the output in the genre consists of landscapes. These artists show a distinct Italian influence, especially that of Carracci. The Spanish masters of this genre of painting were Zurbarán and Jusepe de Ribera, taking their inspiration from Caravaggio, while Diego Velázquez, acknowledged as the greatest Spanish painter of the time and court painter to Philip IV, shows in his work a mastery over color and tone.The landscape paintings of Claude Lorrain can be found in several museums in America, and the one under consideration is ‘The Dance Under the Trees”, an etching by Claude Lorrain, seen in The Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco. All the landscapes painted by Lorrain show an inclination towards use of large trees, especially on the sides of the painting, so as to give the whole landscape the effect of being framed by trees. In this painting, or rather etching, Lorrain has used clumps of trees, two on the left-hand side and one on the right, and the height of the trees extend up into the painting, which gives the painting a vertical field.In the foreground can be seen groups of people dancing and making merry, and as with all Pastoral landscapes, the clothing of the revelers is simple, the kind worn by goatherds and shepherds. A few animals can be seen in the vicinity, grazing contentedly. The painting extends inward into the horizon, although, instead of the usual ruins of the Roman countryside, the area is depicted full of rocks and rather wild.Claude Lorrain, whom Horace Walpole. Spanish and French Baroque.
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