Getting late so another quick one. Sorry :(
There are two catalogs available from the Cranach exhibit I mentioned: a hardcover for 30€ and a soft-cover for €20. I am happy with the soft-cover one. The illustrations are very well reproduced and the articles are authoritative. I won’t belabor the point anymore other than to say that this really was an eye-opening and fascinating exhibit that you is worth the detour.
Claude Lorrain, Louvre
The Claude Lorrain exhibit at the Louvre is short but quite interesting as well. I kind of blew through it. Lorrain is a seventeenth century landscape artist and was EXTREMELY influential for the next two centuries of landscape painting. You can immediately see the influence he had on Turner for example from The Disembarkation of Cleopatra at Tarsus shown here to the right. OK, so landscapes get a bit boring after awhile but Lorrain has a very quiet atmosphere in his. There is as in this example, always some historical or mythological event taking place but it is so minimal compared to the landscape that engulfs it that we are enthralled by the light and trees and so forth. I learned for example that Lorrain was the very first painter ever to paint the sun itself into a landscape painting. Quite an accomplishment for the time I suppose before Ray Bans and all and especially considering that there were no cameras and most of the work was still done in workshops and not in the open. You have to wait until the 19th century for Manet and others to take the revolutionary step and actually paint outside. Perhaps not worth a major detour but if you are in the Louvre, drop down into the special exhibition space under the Sully Wing and check it out. Proust would have reveled in it :)