Wordsworth’s contention here is generally true, in part because most landscape paintings
by these “ancient masters” of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were set in
classical or Biblical lands. Titian (1488/1490-1576) was born in the village of Pieve
di Cavore in the Italian Alps and lived much of his life in nearby Venice. Nicolas
Poussin (1594-1665) and his brother-in-law Gaspard Dughet (self-styled “Gaspard Poussin”)
(1615-1675) lived primarily in Paris and Rome, respectively, and spent little to no
time in the Alps (although Nicolas did paint Hannibal Crossing the Alps in 1625-1627). The French painter Claude Lorrain (1600-1682) visited Tyrol and Bavaria
in his twenties but was generally more drawn to beautiful or picturesque settings
than sublime landscapes like the Alps. The minor Italian painters Pellegrino Tibaldi
(1527-1596) and Bernardino Luini (c. 1482-1532) both resided in Milan, which is located
at the southern base of the Alps.