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Landscape with Jacob and Laban and His Daughters, 1659

Claude Gellée called Claude Lorrain

French, 1600-1682
Oil on copper
10-1/2 x 13-7/8 in. (26.7 x 35.2 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
M.1976.01.P
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

The subject of this painting is Genesis 29, the story of Jacob and the daughters of Laban, Rachel and Leah. Jacob wishes to marry the younger and more beautiful Rachel, but this act would have been contrary to custom. In the end, he marries both Rachel and Leah. In return for the daughters, Jacob faithfully tends to Laban's flocks of sheep and goats for fourteen years.

Claude arranged this drama against sweeping, panoramic views arranged in carefully organized horizontal planes. Vertical accents are provided by the trees and architecture. The artist reached beyond the visual world to combine the motifs best suited to make his artistic statement. It exemplifies his mature work where the accent on beauty, harmony and order form the fundamentals of the ideal landscape.

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