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Charles Roberson & Co

[Claude glass].

Additional Title(s):

[Claude mirror]

[London] : Charles Roberson & Co., [ca. 1850?]
Physical Description:
1 Claude glass : dark-tinted mirror, in a hinged leather-covered wooden case ; 14.5 x 12 x 2.5 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
ND1505 .C88 1850 Flat
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Three-Dimensional Artifacts
A Claude glass (or Claude Lorrain glass) is a small dark-tinted mirror, slightly convex in shape, usually mounted in a velvet-lined carrying case. "Its effect [is] to convey a relatively wide-angled view on to a small-scale surface ... Its tonal effect is to reduce glare at the top end of the scale ... and thus to allow the subtlety of the middle tones to emerge" (Kemp). "It has the effect of abstracting the subject reflected in it from its surroundings, reducing and simplifying the colour and tonal range of scenes and scenery to give them a painterly quality, similar in appearance to the work of Claude Lorrain, hence its name" (Harvey). The device was popular with 17th and 18th century artists, travelers, and amateurs of landscape painting.
Arnaud Maillet (in The Claude glass, 2004) argues that the device is more aptly termed a Claude mirror, to differentiate it from the tinted translucent glass filters (of the same period) that might more rightly be called Claude glasses.
The present Claude glass has a facing panel covered in blue pebbled cloth. The wooden case is covered in dark red leather; it is secured closed with two brass clasps, intact. The case is stamped in gilt: "Roberson Long Acre." Charles Roberson & Co. was a major 19th-century supplier of artists' materials, operating at Long Acre Street, London.
Restricted fragile material. Use requires permission of the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.
Kemp, M. Science of art, p. 199
Harvey, J.C. "Claude glass." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online.
Maillet, A. Claude glass.
Subject Terms:
Artists' tools.
Charles Roberson & Co.
Landscape painting -- Technique.
Painting -- Technique.
Reflection (Optics)
Claude glasses.
Claude mirrors.

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