Claude, Tassi, Wals & Naples
If Rosa represented one trend of landscape painting in Rome and Naples, then Claude Lorrain stood for another. In Rome he was trained as an artist by Agostino Tassi, a landscapist and the leading Italian painter of illusionistic architectural frescoes. At what stage and for how long he was apprenticed is uncertain, and, either before or during this period, Claude probably spent two years in Naples with Goffredo Wals, another pupil of Tassi. Agostino Tassi (1578- 1644) taught Claude the basic vocabulary of his art - landscapes and coast scenes with buildings and little figures - and Tassi gave Claude a lasting interest in perspective and, thus, in landscape painting (above). Tassi would eventually become “Rome’s foremost painter of illusionistic architectural decoration” and in the words of Patrizia Cavazzini, “the key to the merging of northern and southern traditions of landscape painting.” In 1625, according to his second biographer, Filippo Baldinucci, Claude left Tassi and went back to Nancy, the capital of Lorraine, where he worked for a year as assistant to Claude Deruet on some frescoes (since destroyed) in the Carmelite church. But, in the winter of 1626-27, Claude returned to Rome and settled there permanently. According to early sources, Wals (1600-38/40) left Cologne at the tender age of fourteen and ventured to Italy. In Naples he found work colouring engravings, while from 1616 or 1617 until the end of November 1618, he worked in the Roman studio of Agostino Tassi. Further information about his career is limited. However, Filippo Baldinucci tells how Wals's fame as a painter of landscapes and perspectives encouraged Claude Lorrain to study with him in Naples, probably from 1620-22. Tassi is thought to have inspired Wal’s designs; “simple stratification across three planes.” The tondo form which he favoured may have been meant to suggest a mirror- “a mirror of nature.” Claude's time with Wals was instrumental in his development of the idealised Italianate landscape. In Naples, Wal’s greatest patron was the Flemish merchant Gaspar Roomer who owned no fewer than 60 pictures by the German painter. It is significant that Roomer’s favourite type of painting seems to have been small landscapes or storms at sea, animal paintings and still lifes, “most of them painted by foreign artists, unfamiliar to Neapolitan artists.”
 Bio in the Genius of Rome, 384
 Patrizia Cavazzini “Towards the Pure Landscape” in Genius of Rome, 208-247, 235.
 Bio in ibid, 385.
 Cavazzini “Towards the Pure Landscape” in Genius of Rome, 239.
 Marshall, Baroque Naples, 202
 Roomer quoted in Francis Haskell, Patrons and Painters ( Yale, 1980), 206.