Yale Center for British Art

[Claude glass].
Alternate Title(s):
[Claude mirror]
Published / Created:
[Great Britain?], [ca. 1880?]
Physical Description:
1 Claude glass : dark-tinted mirror, in a hinged cloth-covered wooden case ; 24 x 15 x 3 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
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.
Subject Terms:
Artists' tools. | Painting -- Technique. | Landscape painting -- Technique. | Reflection (Optics)
Claude glasses. | Claude mirrors.