For the most part, French baroque art can be considered as an expression of the French Crown’s values, particularly those of King Louis XIV.King Louis built the Versailles palace as a symbol of the Crown’s total authority, of which the design of both the palace and surrounding land was a direct product of a rigid, rational, and disciplined approach meant to show the state and government control of the king. The sculptures, paintings, and architecture that were chosen to decorate this palace were, stylistically, purely classical in nature, conveying the timeless and orderly truths of the policies pursued by King Louis XIV. However, not every artist in France wanted to be employed by the government with majority of them electing to leave the country, contending that this was better than placing their artistic creativity in political service. The two most distinguished artists of this period, Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin, chose to move to Italy, where they got inspiration from the gentle landscape in Rome.Claude Lorrain elected to paint the lovely countryside in form of poetry, populating the landscapes with ancient monuments and their picturesque ruins, as well as flocks of sheep. Poussin also sought to depict similar features in his landscapes on the countryside in Rome. However, Poussin sought to do more than delight the audience or viewer. Instead, he utilized the classical setting to present human history in dramatic form. On top of delighting his landscapes’ viewers, he also set out to instruct them.
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The essay "The Landscape Masters of the Baroque" discovers two masters of Baroque period, Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain. Whereas Lorrain’s work can be taken as pioneering in the development of pictorialism, which gave rise to the early impressionists…
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