Description of the picture:
Landscape with the merchants – Claude Lorren. 1628. Oil on canvas, 97.2 x 143.6
Claude Lorren dedicated all his work to the landscape, and it was rare for the creators of those times, who preferred profitable portraits and genre scenes. A vast place, movement deep into the picture, filigree work with light and contours of frontal silhouettes – all this forms the basis of the style of the famous French painter.
The painting “Landscape with merchants” can be called a textbook in terms of research of the master’s technique. The program of the picture is declared in the title, but the viewer can see that in fact the merchants occupy an insignificant place in the art space. Nature dominates in all its splendor!
For the foreground, Lorren chooses dark colors, while the background is represented by a light palette. The depth effect is achieved by depicting each of the subsequent plans with a lighter color than the previous one was reproduced – this stepwise illumination creates a realistic, realistic picture. It seems as if the viewer himself is observing a picturesque landscape spread out in front of him, extending far beyond the horizon.
In this work, the movement into the distance is deliberately emphasized by a meandering river, which leads away to the point where the earth meets the sky. The color culmination is located in the center of the canvas – these are the brightest and purest colors, depicting an empty sky, helpfully opened by retreating clouds.
Claude Lorren, this singer of nature, stood at the origins of such a concept as “classical landscape”, which later will be actively developed by painters throughout Europe."