Final years

In his final years Claude managed to convey the epic scope of nature. Virgil’s Aeneid supplied him with several subjects, as did Ovid’s mythological poems, which Claude set in a dream-like world bathed in silvery light. He returned to the theme of poetic inspiration, symbolized by Mount Parnassus. His late compositions were bolder still, intensifying the asymmetry of the landscape and suggesting the infinity of space—human figures shrink to the point of being overwhelmed by their environment. A few stunning perspective drawings also date from these years.
After 1670, Claude’s output of new paintings tailed off. Instead, he made drawn reproductions on blue paper of his earlier paintings. These meticulously executed drawings are among his most personal works, and could hardly be more different from the spontaneous studies of his early career. But on taking a closer look Claude’s same receptiveness to nature is fully apparent.