Investigate 17th-Century Artists’ Practices and Enjoy a Last Chance Look at Claude Lorrain’s Drawings on April 29 at the Clark

For Immediate Release

April 11, 2007

Join Phoebe Dent Weil, art conservator, Northern Light Studio, St. Louis, MO and Florence, MA, as she explores the common components of 17th-century paintings and drawings and how these were prepared and employed by the artist Claude Lorrain. “Claude Lorrain and Seventeenth-Century Italian Studio Practice,” a free lecture, will be held at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Sunday, April 29, at 2 pm.

Weil will focus on Claude’s drawing materials—inks, red and black chalk, white gouache, reed pen, quills, brushes, white and blue papers—and propose a demonstration of his typical working methods and ways in which he used his drawings and varied his techniques for specific purposes. Claude’s drawing techniques will be compared with those of some of his contemporaries and predecessors. Methods of manipulating these materials in order to work on-the-spot in the open air will be discussed, as well as Claude’s adaptation of drawings to canvas and his painting materials and techniques.

The question of alteration of Claude’s drawing materials over time, both physically and chemically and the impact of these changes on the aesthetics of the visual image, will be presented. Digital reconstructions estimating the original appearance of some of the drawings will be shown as well as actual reconstructions using materials approximating those used by Claude.

Claude Lorrain is on view at the Clark through April 29 and will then travel to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. where it will be on view May 27 through August 12.

Claude Lorrain is the first exhibition in the United States to focus specifically on the Claude’s drawings and working methods and place the objects within the historical, cultural, and artistic contexts of 17th-century Rome, his adopted home. Known for inventing the “modern” landscape, Claude changed how people viewed the natural world, influencing landscape artists for generations to follow. Claude Lorrain features 90 drawings and etchings from the incomparable collection of the British Museum. The works on paper are joined by 13 oil paintings from international public museum collections. From preparatory sketches to final oil paintings, the exhibition comprehensively reveals Claude’s vision of nature as it explores his working process.

Claude Lorrain—The Painter as Draftsman: Drawings from the British Museum was organized by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in association with the British Museum. It is supported in part by the Parnassus Foundation, courtesy of Jane and Raphael Bernstein, by the National Endowment for the Arts, and by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit


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