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CLAUDE OF LORRAINE—CLAUDIANUS

On the revocation of the edict of Nantes he fled to Holland, and received a pension from William of Orange, who commissioned him to write an account of the persecuted Huguenots (Plaintes des protestants cruellement opprimés dans le royaume de France, 1686). The book was translated into English, but by order of James II. both the translation and the original were publicly burnt by the common hangman on the 5th of May 1686, as containing “expressions scandalous to His Majesty the king of France.” Other Works by him were Réponse an livre de P. Nouet sur l’eucharistie (1668); Œuvres posthumes (Amsterdam, 1688), containing the Traité de la composition d’un sermon, translated into English in 1778.

See biographies by J. P. Nicéron and Abel Rotholf de la Devèze; E. Haag, La France protestante, vol. iv. (1884, new edition).


CLAUDE OF LORRAINE, or Claude Gelée (1600–1682), French landscape-painter, was born of very poor parents at the village of Chamagne in Lorraine. When it was discovered that he made no progress at school, he was apprenticed, it is commonly said, to a pastry-cook, but this is extremely dubious. At the age of twelve, being left an orphan, he went to live at Freiburg on the Rhine with an elder brother, Jean Gelée, a wood-carver of moderate merit, and under him he designed arabesques and foliage. He afterwards rambled to Rome to seek a livelihood; but from his clownishness and ignorance of the language, he failed to obtain permanent employment. He next went to Naples, to study landscape painting under Godfrey Waals, a painter of much repute. With him he remained two years; then he returned to Rome, and was domesticated until April 1625 with another landscape-painter, Augustin Tassi, who hired him to grind his colours and to do all the household drudgery.

His master, hoping to make Claude serviceable in some of his greatest works, advanced him in the rules of perspective and the elements of design. Under his tuition the mind of Claude began to expand, and he devoted himself to artistic study with great eagerness. He exerted his utmost industry to explore the true principles of painting by an incessant examination of nature; and for this purpose he made his studies in the open fields, where he very frequently remained from sunrise till sunset, watching the effect of the shifting light upon the landscape. He generally sketched whatever he thought beautiful or striking, marking every tinge of light with a similar colour; from these sketches he perfected his landscapes. Leaving Tassi, he made a tour in Italy, France and a part of Germany, including his native Lorraine, suffering numerous misadventures by the Way. Karl Dervent, painter to the duke of Lorraine, kept him as assistant for a year; and he painted at Nancy the architectural subjects on the ceiling of the Carmelite church. He did not, however, relish this employment, and in 1627 returned to Rome. Here, painting two landscapes for Cardinal Bentivoglio, he earned the protection of Pope Urban VIII. and from about 1637 he rapidly rose into celebrity. Claude was acquainted not only with the facts, but also with the laws of nature; and the German painter Joachim von Sandrart relates that he used to explain, as they walked together through the fields, the causes of the different appearances of the same landscape at different hours of the day, from the reflections or refractions of light, or from the morning and evening dews or vapours, with all the precision of a natural philosopher. He elaborated his pictures with great care; and if any performance fell short of his ideal, he altered, erased and repainted it several times over.

His skies are aerial and full of lustre, and every object harmoniously illumined. His distances and colouring are delicate, and his tints have a sweetness and variety till then unexampled. He frequently gave an uncommon tenderness to his finished trees by glazing. His figures, however, are very indifferent; but he was so conscious of his deficiency in this respect, that he usually engaged other artists to paint them for him, among whom were Courtois and Filippo Lauri. Indeed, he was wont to say that he sold his landscapes and gave away his figures. In order to avoid a repetition of the same subject, and also to detect the very numerous spurious copies of his Works, he made tinted outline drawings (in six paper books prepared for this purpose) of all those pictures which were transmitted to different countries; and on the back of each drawing he wrote the name of the purchaser. These books he named Libri di verità. This valuable work (now belonging to the duke of Devonshire) has been engraved and published, and has always been highly esteemed by students of the art of landscape. Claude, who had suffered much from gout, died in Rome at the age of eighty-two, on the 21st (or perhaps the 23rd) of November 1682, leaving his wealth, which was considerable, between his only surviving relatives, a nephew and an adopted daughter (?niece).

Many choice specimens of his genius may be seen in the National Gallery and in the Louvre; the landscapes in the Altieri and Colonna palaces in Rome are also of especial celebrity. A list has been printed showing no less than 92 examples in the various public galleries of Europe. He himself regarded a landscape which he painted in the Villa Madama, being a cento of various Views with great abundance and variety of leafage, and a composition of Esther and Ahasuerus, as his finest works; the former he refused to sell, although Clement IX. offered to cover its surface with gold pieces. He etched a series of twenty-eight landscapes, fine impressions of which are greatly prized. Full of amenity, and deeply sensitive to the graces of nature, Claude was long deemed the prince of landscape painters, and he must always be accounted a prime leader in that form of art, and in his day a great enlarger and refiner of its province.

Claude was a man of amiable and simple character, very kind to his pupils, a patient and unwearied worker; in his own sphere of study, his mind was stored (as we have seen) with observation and knowledge, but he continued an unlettered man till his death. Famous and highly patronized though he was in all his later years, he seems to have been very little known to his brother artists, with the single exception of Sandrart. This painter is the chief direct authority for the facts of Claude’s life (Academia Artis Pictoriae, 1683); Baldinucci, who obtained information from some of Claude’s immediate survivors, relates various incidents to a different effect (Notizie dei professori del disegno).

See also Victor Cousin, Sur Claude Gelée (1853); M. F. Sweetser, Claude Lorrain (1878); Lady Dilke, Claude Lorrain (1884).  (W. M. R.) 


CLAUDET, ANTOINE FRANÇOIS JEAN (1797–1867), French photographer, was born at Lyons on the 12th of August 1797. Having acquired a share in L. J. M. Daguerre’s invention, he was one of the first to practise daguerreotype portraiture in England, and he improved the sensitizing process by using chlorine in addition to iodine, thus gaining greater rapidity of action. In 1848 he produced the photographometer, an instrument designed to measure the intensity of photogenic rays; and in 1849 he brought out the focimeter, for securing a perfect focus in photographic portraiture. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1853, and in 1858 he produced the stereomonoscope, in reply to a challenge from Sir David Brewster. He died in London on the 27th of December 1867.


CLAUDIANUS, CLAUDIUS, Latin epic poet and panegyrist, flourished during the reign of Arcadius and Honorius. He was an Egyptian by birth, probably an Alexandrian, but it may be conjectured from his name and his mastery of Latin that he was of Roman extraction. His own authority has been assumed for the assertion that his first poetical compositions were in Greek, and that he had written nothing in Latin before A.D. 395; but this seems improbable, and the passage (Carm. Min. xli. 13) which is taken to prove it does not necessarily bear this meaning. In that year he appears to have come to Rome, and made his début as a Latin poet by a panegyric on the consulship of Olybrius and Probinus, the first brothers not belonging to the imperial family who had ever simultaneously filled the office of consul. This piece proved the precursor of the series of panegyrical poems which compose the bulk of his writings. In Birt’s edition a complete chronological list of Claudian’s poems is given, and also in J. B. Bury’s edition of Gibbon (iii. app. i. p. 485), where the dates given differ slightly from those in the present article.

In 396 appeared the encomium on the third consulship of the emperor Honorius, and the epic on the downfall of Rufinus, the