Claude Lorrain, An artist sketching, a drawing

Italy, around AD 1635

The dark brown wash drawing is made with a brush over black chalk on white paper. It is a charming and informal study of a hunter, leaning over the shoulder of an artist. Both figures are placed on the trunk of a large fallen tree. The artist sits astride the tree and sketches, while the hunter kneels. The natural chiaroscuro (light and shade) defines the trunk, its branches, leaves and the rocks below, using only the differing tones of the liquid brown wash. Touches of darker ink, in varying degrees of depth, fill the shadows. The white of the paper itself supplies the contrasting light.

Claude reused this scene in a later painting of around 1648, recorded in a drawing in the Liber Veritatis ('Book of Truth'), a book of drawings into which he copied his paintings. The book is also in The British Museum. Claude often made drawings in the open air and then used them again many years later. He took scenes from his stock of images from nature in order to compose the ideal landscape paintings for which he has always been admired.

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More information


M. Roethlisberger, Claude Lorrain: the drawings, 2 vols. (University of California Press, 1968)

A.M. Hind, Catalogue of the drawings of C (London, 1926)

D. Russell, Claude Lorrain (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, 1982)

J.J.L. Whiteley, Claude Lorrain: drawings from, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1998)


Height: 321.000 mm
Width: 214.000 mm

Museum number

PD Oo.7-181


Bequeathed by R. Payne Knight


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