Jean Baptist Claudot (1733-1805)

Artist Name Jean Baptist Claudot (1733-1805)
Title Capriccio Arcadian Landscape
Description A large and delicately painted Old Master oil landscape capriccio of an Arcadian scene with figures, cattle and ruins in the foreground. It dates to around 1770 and is attributed to the French artist Jean Baptiste Claudot. A delightful painting in a fine frame of the period. Claudot studied under Joseph Vernet and the light sky shows this influence. A real country house painting.
Provenance Christie’s London.
Medium Oil on Canvas
Size 31 x 25 inches
Frame Fine frame 42 inches by 34 inches. Very good condition.
Condition Relined, in very good condition.
Biography Jean Baptist Claudot (1733-1805) - born at Badonvillier (Vosges) in 1733, Claudot began his apprenticeship in assisting to decorate the Capucine church at nearby Blamont. Soon after, he moved to Luneville, birthplace of Georges de la Tour. His early work in Luneville attracted the attention of the Jesuits who appointed the twenty year old painter as peintre-en-chef to their establishment at Pont- à-Mousson. Claudot stayed with them until 1759 and then married and moved to Nancy where he won a commission to work on theatre designs alongside his teacher, Jean Girardet (1709-1778) also from Nancy.

In 1766 the death of Stanislaus meant the Duchy reverted to France and that local artists had lost a great patron. No doubt concerned for his future, Claudot decided to venture to Paris and study under the great artist Joseph Vernet. They became friends as well as a successful teacher and pupil duo and Claudot became fully established under Vernet’s guidance. After two years Claudot wanted, nonetheless, to be back in Nancy and many commissions and new patrons awaited him there both privately and on a municipal level. Most of the dozen or so works in the Nancy museums date from this period. French landscape painter, draughtsman, and etcher, born of French parents and active in Rome (called also Gaspard Poussin). He is one of the most difficult seventeenth-century artists to identify and define, even though he achieved success in his lifetime and his pictures continued to be in demand for two centuries after his death. He became associated with Nicolas Poussin (whose surname he adopted) at an early age because Poussin married Gaspard's sister, Anne-Marie Dughet, in 1630.

It is assumed that Gaspard was taught to paint by his illustrious brother-in-law in the early 1630s, in spite of the fact that Poussin at that time was totally preoccupied with mythological and religious subject-matter, and had not turned his attention to landscapes. It is likely, therefore, as nothing but landscapes survive from Gaspard's hand, that he was the initiator of the classical landscape painting.

These earliest essays may well be the group of pictures formerly put together as The Silver Birch Master, although there is now a theory that these works represent Poussin's earliest landscapes. The best-documented works by Gaspard are some landscape frescoes in the Roman church of S. Martino ai Monti, dating from the early 1650s. The superb series of landscapes in gouache in the Colonna Gallery in Rome show him at the height of his powers as a decorator. It has always been thought that Gaspard's cold, stylised pictures with intense blues and dark trees are his later works, all painted under the influence of Nicolas Poussin's classical landscapes of about 1650.
Price £9500
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