- Museum number
Coast scene with the Rape of Europa, illustration from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' (II, 833-75), record of paintings in Moscow and HM The Queen's collection from the Liber Veritatis; in foreground Europa sitting on Jupiter in the guise of a bull, with her attendants around her, beyond at left seaview, boats and ships
Pen and brown ink and grey-brown wash, heightened with white, on blue paper
- Production date
Height: 193 millimetres
Width: 253 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See 1957,1214.6 for information on the Liber Veritatis.
This is the second occasion in the Liber Veritiatis (on which see 1957,1214.6) that records a commission by Claude for a depiction of the Rape of Europa. The first painting, for which see LV111 (1957,1214.117) is essentially the same as the present composition, although Claude opened out the composition slightly in order to create a stronger sense of depth. The overall scene is graceful, with the figures in the foreground rendered in Claude’s elongated style typical of the 1650s and the effects of light achieved through the careful application of white heightening. A carefully executed drawing in the Kuperstichkabinett in Berlin may have been a preparatory drawing or a subsequent drawing made after the completed painting. Togther with its pendant of LV137 (see 1957,1214.143), this work was commissioned by Cardinal Fabio Chigi who was elevated to Pope Alexander VII in April 1655. The fact that the inscription on the verso of this painting names Chigi as a Cardinal correspondingly provides a terminus ante quem for the paniting’s completeion; this painting is now in the Puskhin Museum, Moscow (inv. no. 916; canvas, 100 x137 cm; see Roethsliberger 1986, no. 204). A repetition of this painting was commissioned in 1667 by Philippe de Graveron and is now in the Royal Collection (see Roethlisberger 1961, fig. 278), and was presumably executed from the liber drawing as opposed to Chigi’s painting.
Lit: M. Roethlisberger, Claude Lorrain, The Paintings, London 1961, LV136, pp. 325–29; M. Roethlisberger, ‘Claude Lorrain. The Drawings’, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1968, no. 755; M. Kitson, ‘Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis’, London 1978, no. 136.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1977 BM, Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis
1978/9 Oct-Jan, Louvre, 'Claude Lorrain', no. 78
- 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