Known as the 'Diamond Claude' by virtue of its faceted format, this exquisite painting on copper is one of a clutch of such works executed by the celebrated classicist. Claude Gellée was born in Lorrain, but spent most of a productive life in his beloved Italy, especially Rome and its pastoral environs exemplified in the Campagna. Initially inspired by northern artists active in that city, Elsheimer and Bril for example, Claude became fluent in the idealising vocabulary of Bolognese painters such as Domenichino. Behind his Arcadian landscapes lay a reliance on forms and relationships found in nature, especially the varied effects of natural light which are his hallmark. 'Pastoral landscape', with its lakeside setting, predicts the great seaport subjects of his maturity - works that profoundly influenced the romantic Turner. Claude's wider influence on subsequent landscape traditions in Europe is inestimable.
AGNSW Handbook, 1999.