(b. 1604, Chamagne, d. 1682, Roma)

Landscape with Jacob and Rachel at the Well (Morning)

Oil on canvas, 113 x 157 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Although the majority of Claude's landscapes incorporated biblical, mythological, or genre scenes, his main theme was transformations of light; indeed, many of his series are devoted to times of day. Nature was his passion, as demonstrated not only by his superb sketches made on location, but also by his practice, highly unusual for the 17th century, of mixing paints while watching a sunrise or sunset, to be used later in the studio.