‘The Enchanted Landscape’; Claude Lorrain Study Day

Posted on November 7th, 2011 by Charles Boot
Dec ’11
11:00 am

‘The Enchanted Landscape’;
Claude Lorrain Study Day

at The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

11am to 3.30pm, Friday 16 December 2011

By kind invitation of the Ashmolean Museum the Society is holding a Study Day to coincide with the major exhibition of paintings and graphic works of Claude Lorrain which had such a huge influence on the landscape designers of the 18th century. By uniting ‘pairs’ of Claude’s paintings and making a comprehensive survey of his work in different media, the exhibition brings new research to bear on his working methods, to reveal an unconventional side to Claude which has been little known.

In the morning there will be a special conducted tour of the exhibition by the Curator, Dr Jon Whiteley. In the afternoon John Phibbs will speak on ‘The legacy of Claude Lorrain in the historic designed landscape’ followed by a discussion with Dr Whiteley.

John Phibbs writes: “Claude Lorrain had achieved such a pitch of popularity amongst the British aristocracy of the 18th century that there was no house of pretension in England that did not have a few landscape paintings attributed to him on its walls, and, from early in the century, connoisseurs like Jonathan Richardson regarded him as the non-pareil among landscape painters, with ‘the most beautiful, and Pleasing ideas; the most rural, and of our own Times’.

English connoisseurs themselves longed for an English Claude to emerge, and Paul Sandby, who painted many Brownian parks, was felt to be the man by Gainsborough and even by ‘Capability’ Brown, who, as William Mason recalled, begged him not to ruin his chances by eating too many filberts: ‘in a short time [Sandby] will be that Claude Lorraine, that Browne assured him he was’.

Brown’s own work and the English style of gardening of which he was the leading proponent were themselves constantly associated with Claude’s, as in a typically light-hearted letter from William Mason to the Rev. William Gilpin: ‘I considered you as Painters zealous of the honor of your art, & as little willing to be put on a footing with House Painters, as surgeons are with Barbers … Whereas I and Brown (I beg pardon I should say Brown & I) hold the painting of a rail of the most essential consequence to our Art, and what a Claude Lorraine might be employd in.’

On the other hand, Richard Payne Knight wrote, presumably with some authority, that Brown knew nothing of painting, and on the face of it there is not much to connect Claude’s sea-port departures, mythological scenes and classical ruins with the smooth expanses of grass and open water that we associate with Brownian landscape today. Nonetheless I believe that there are strong connections between the two, and will discuss these in my lecture.

Registration: with tea and/or coffee at 11am to 11.30 in the Museum restaurant on the fourth floor will be followed by the guided tour with Dr Whiteley. A light sandwich lunch will be provided in the Education Studio at 1pm, where the afternoon session will begin at 2pm.

The ticket price: £35, includes coffee/tea in the morning and afternoon, a light sandwich lunch, the guided tour and lecture. It does not, however, include the entrance price of the exhibition since this varies: £9 (£7 concessionary rate) including gift aid or £8 (£6 concessionary rate) without gift aid. The full exhibition catalogue, £25, is available at a discounted rate of £20 on production of the entrance ticket. There is also an Exhibition Guide priced at £4.

Getting there: The Ashmolean Museum is about 10 minutes walk from Oxford railway station and 5 minutes from the bus station where the frequent bus service from London, the Oxford Tube, arrives. Those traveling by car may already know that they need to transfer to a bus at one of the peripheral park and ride locations since parking in Oxford city centre is nearly impossible.

Advance booking by post only as the number of places is limited. Please use the Booking Form

The caterers have requested final numbers by Monday 12 December: please ensure applications are posted by Thursday 8 December at the latest to allow for any delays in the Christmas post.

For booking and further information please contact:
David Foreman: 020 8947 4546

40 Richmond Road, West Wimbledon, London SW20 0PQ

Claude Lorrain: The Enchanted Landscape continues at the Ashmolean Museum until 8th January 2012

Leave a comment