As an artist, Claus was incredibly successful. He became friends with some of the most noted artists of the day and travelled around the world for his painting exhibitions. While his early works had a realistic look and included many portraits, he eventually moved on to an Impressionist style. He was particularly noted as a pioneer of Luminism, which focused on the effects of light as seen in famous works of Claus like "Cows Crossing the Lys River." Many other paintings incorporated lush rural settings or bodies of water, both of which allowed for careful study of the effects of light.
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