Artist revealed as 'painter of stories': Music sets scene for French landscapist who draws from classical poetry

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The Independent Online
STUDENTS from the Royal Academy of Music performed chamber music that Claude Lorrain, the 17th-century French master landscapist, might have recognised in the Sainsbury wing of the National Gallery, writes Dalya Alberge.

Claude is the subject of a major exhibition opening at the gallery in London tomorrow, and the sound of period music, performed by small chamber groups, will accompany visitors round the show on Wednesday evenings in February and March. Claude is widely admired for his evocative panoramic views and play with luminous light, but the National Gallery show aims to bring out the lesser-known Claude - 'a painter of stories'. Although Claude's figures are always secondary to the landscapes, the inspiration of literature - particularly the Bible and the classical poetry of Ovid and Virgil - is explored through 28 paintings and more than 50 drawings.

Neil MacGregor, director of the National Gallery, said it could not be a more appropriate setting for this show: when the gallery first opened to the public in 1824, Claude was the best represented artist and a particular favourite of the gallery's first benefactor.

Pictured above are Claude's Landscape with the Arrival of Aeneas before the City of Pallanteum, 1675, and Landscape with the Father of Psyche Sacrificing at the Temple of Apollo, 1662.

(Photograph omitted)