Claude Lorrain was a French painter, draughtsman and etcher of the Baroque era. He spent most of his life in Italy, and is one of the earliest important artists, apart from his contemporaries in Dutch Golden Age painting, to concentrate on landscape painting. His landscapes are usually turned into the more prestigious genre of history paintings by the addition of a few small figures, typically representing a scene from the Bible or classical mythology.
By the end of the 1630s he was established as the leading landscapist in Italy, and enjoyed large fees for his work. These gradually became larger, but with fewer figures, more carefully painted, and produced at a lower rate. He was not generally an innovator in landscape painting, except in introducing the sun into many paintings, which had been rare before. He is now thought of as a French painter, but was born in the independent Duchy of Lorraine, and almost all his painting was done in Italy; before the late 19th century he was regarded as a painter of the "Roman School". His patrons were also mostly Italian, but after his death he became very popular with English collectors, and the UK retains a high proportion of his works.