- Museum number
Landscape with Mercury and Battus, illustration from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' (II, 685-97), record of painting in a Swiss private collection from the Liber Veritatis; in foreground figures beside a pool and cattle
Pen and brown ink and brown wash, with grey-brown wash
- Production date
Height: 194 millimetres
Width: 255 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See 1957,1214.6 for information on the Liber Veritatis.
Claude depicted the Ovidian episodes surrounding Mercury’s attempts to steal the flock of sheep guarded by Apollo on several occasions. Earlier iterations included LV92 and 128, while the present scene of Mercury gifting Battus a cow for keeping silent about the thefts he had seen was also depicted in LV159 and a few drawings from the 1660s. The present drawing develops on a number of pastoral scenes that Claude had made in the 1630s such as LV41, while the figures of Mercury and Battus can be related to the pastoral figures in LV52. The painting that the drawing records was made for an unknown patron; attempts to identify the MR Mierelle have been unsuccessful. Roethlisberger did however voice the possiblility that he also commissioned LV128 as a pendant to show the two successive phases in the narrative. The painting was last recorded in a private collection after having been sold at Sotheby’s London on 7 July 2010, lot 38 (this information from Christian Klemm in June 2021). See Roethlisberger 1961, fig. 226.
Lit: M. Roethlisberger, Claude Lorrain, The Paintings, London 1961, LV131, pp. 317–18; M. Roethlisberger, ‘Claude Lorrain. The Drawings’, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1968, no. 732; M. Kitson, ‘Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis’, London 1978, no. 131; M. Roethlisberger, ‘Tout l’oevure peint de Claude Lorrain’, Paris, 1986, no. 199
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1977 BM, Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Metamorphoses
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Accepted by H M Government in lieu of tax on the estate of the 9th Duke of Devonshire.
See M. Kitson's 'Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis', pp. 28-9, for a full account of the provenance of the sketch-book.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number