The first drawing lessons he received from his brother Jean Gellee, Woodcarver. About 1613 come to Italy becomes a servant of the first artist of the Gentleman Arpino, then Agostino Tassi. Together with Tassi and German landscape painter Gottfried Waltz in 1618-20 works in Naples, then in Rome. In 1625 Lorraine through Venice and Bayern back in Lorraine, where she is an assistant Claude Darya, performing frescoes in Nancy. In 1627, forever, he moved to Rome.
Claude Laurent was born in 1600, independent in that epoch the Duchy of Lorraine (born) in a peasant family. Early left an orphan. After receiving primary knowledge in drawing from his older brother, the skilful engraver on the tree in Freiburg in Breisgau, 1613-14, he went with one of his relatives in Italy. Working as a servant in the house of a landscape painter Agostino Tassie's collection, and I learned some techniques and skills. From 1617 in 1621 Lorraine lived in Naples studied term and architecture at Gottfried Wels, and clarification of landscape painting under the guidance Agostino Tassie's collection, one of the disciples P. Bril, in Rome, where then was the whole life Lorrain, with the exception of two years (1625-27), when Lorraine returned to their homeland and live in Nancy. Here he decorates the ceiling of the Church and writes architectural backgrounds registered in the works of Claude Darya, court painter to the Duke of Lorraine. In1627 year Lorraine again went to Italy and substantiated in Rome. There he lived until his death (1627-1682). At first he served custom decorative work, so called "landscape murals", but later he managed to become a professional "landscape" and focus on the easel. In addition, Lorraine was a great etcher; he left lesson etching only in 1642, choosing the final painting.
In 1637, the French Ambassador to the Vatican buys from Lorrain the two paintings are now in the Louvre: "View of the Roman Forum, and View port with Capitolium". In 1639 the Spanish king Philip IV ordered Lorrain seven works (now in the Prado Museum), of which two landscape with trees. From other customers it is necessary to mention Pope urban VIII (4), of cardinal Bentivoglio, Prince Column.
In the Baroque era landscape was considered secondary genre. Lorrain, however, recognized and live in abundance. He takes a large, three storey house in the center of the capital, close to Plaza Espanya (1650); since 1634 he is a member of the Academy of St. Luke (i.e. art Academy). Later, in 1650, he was offered to become the rector of this Academy, from this honor Lorraine refused, preferring calm. He communicates with artists, in particular with N. By Poussin, a neighbor, which he visited frequently in the 1660's, to drink a glass of good red wine.
Lorraine was not married, but had a daughter, Agnes, who was born in 1653 Her he bequeathed all his musescore died in Rome in 1682.