|The Voyage of Life: Youth,|
1842, Thomas Cole
Technically, Claude Lorrain was a Frenchman, having been born in the village of Chamagne near Nancy in the Duchy of Lorrain. Both his parents died when he was a small child so the boy made his way to Rome where he lived the rest of his life, which would seem to make him a defacto Italian. In Rome, the young boy worked as a pastry cook, a childhood of poverty instilling in him the qualities of shrewdness and hard work that caused him to accumulate considerable wealth over his lifetime. Self-educated in all things, including his painting, his inspiration came from the countryside near Rome, specializing in those conditions of nature that allowed him to paint natural scenery more harmonious and beautiful than nature.
|The Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba,|
1648, Claude Lorrain