Claude Gellee

Morning in the Harbour

Morning in the Harbour
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Author: Claude Gellee
Landscape, Painting, Oil on canvas, 97.5x120.5 cm
Origin: France, Late 1630s

At the beginning of his career, in the period between 1634 and 1644, Lorrain created more than 25 "harbours". The Hermitage painting Morning in the Harbour was done in 1634, since a drawing appears under this date in the sample album Liber Veritatis, in which the artist entered all drawings of works already completed. The date corresponds stylistically to the features of Lorrain's early "sea harbours": the canvas is rather small; the space is devoted mostly to the foreground, while in the distance the landscape seems to dissolve in mist; and the genre scenes depict fishermen, traders and boats at the quay. The combination of the antique arch of Titus with trees and towers in the distance create a wonderful romantic effect which disappears in the artist's later, emphatically formal and representative "harbours" in the late 1630s and early 1640s.

Source of entry: Collection of Sir Robert Walpole, Houghton Hall, 1779

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