Claude Lorrain was one of the most significant of the early European landscape painters and produced most of his paintings whilst living in Italy, having moved there from his birthplace of France. Lorrain starred in the 17th century and helped to establish landscape painting as a valuable genre, when previously it had not been given the respect that it receives today.
Prior to Lorrain, there were not really any significant artists that specialised in the genre of landscape painting, other than, of course, several members of the Dutch Golden Age. The previous centuries of European art had been dominated with portraiture as well as religious themes. This was predominantly due to the prominence of religion within society at this time but also underlines where the wealth lied during this period. Very few of even the most famous names in art were allowed to express their artistic freedom entirely, with most forced to seek financial stability by attracting rich donors who demanded portraits of family members. Claude Lorrain, however, loved to put together the most extraordinary landscape scenes and had little interest in any of the other mainstream genres.
Claude Lorrain's Influence on JMW Turner
influence on Turner