Claude, Apollo and the Muses



Storia dell’Arte 112, Settembre – Dicembre 2005

Helen Langdon

Claude, Apollo and the Muses

In the mid 1640s the art of Claude Lorrain changed. His early style had been rooted in the art of Agostino Tassi and of the naturalism of northern landscape artists then working in Rome, amongst them Paul Brill and Goffredo Wals […] The paintings which I here discuss are linked by their Apollonian imagery. Apollo was the god of music and the arts, and to compare his civilising role with that of prince or patron was a common form of encomium, and increasingly so after the turn of the century. The favoured poet of the Barberini, Gabriello Chiabrera, had celebrated the anniversary of the Urban VIII’s election, with a prayer that Mount Helicon and the Hippocrene fount, homes of the Muses, should resound with the strains of Apollo’s lyre, in praise of the poet Pope.

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