- Museum number
Landscape with the three daughters of Helios searching for the dead Phaeton, illustration from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses', (II, 340), record of painting (location unknown) from the Liber Veritatis; in foreground three female figures and a herdsman with his flocks, beyond at right a river and Phaeton's tomb
Pen and brown ink and brown wash, with grey-brown wash, heightened with white, on blue paper
Verso: Tracing of a tree on recto
- Production date
Height: 195 millimetres
Width: 257 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See 1957,1214.6 for information on the Liber Veritatis.
The scene that this drawing depicts derives from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. As an identifying inscription on the verso makes clear, the scene shows the three daughters of the Sun-god Helios searching for the body of their brother Phaeton. Claude only depicted this episode on one occasion, and in general it is a rare scene to depict, and the motive is presumably tied to the requests of the patron – a French patron known as Mr Courtois. This same patron also commissioned the pendant of a Coast View with the Rape of Europa (see 1957,1214.150) which bears witness to his interest in Ovidian subject matter. This pendant also makes it possible to ascertain that the scale of the now lost painting that this drawing records was small, of around 56 x 80 cm. Three copies of this painting exist, all slightly different in proportion to the Liber Veritatis drawing and instead more reflective of the lost original (see Roethlisberger 1961, pp.341–42). The composition itself is typical of this period of Claude’s career with the orante trees, and the slightly raised foreground that opens out into a deep mountainous landscape, and compares with LV142 and 113. The figures are also rendered in the elongated style that Claude deployed from the 1650s onwards. Three copies of this painting exist, all slightly different in proportion to the Liber Veritatis drawing and instead more reflective of the lost original.
Lit: M. Roethlisberger, Claude Lorrain, The Paintings, London 1961, LV143, pp. 340–42; M. Roethlisberger, ‘Claude Lorrain. The Drawings’, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1968, no. 807; M. Kitson, ‘Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis’, London 1978, no. 143; M. Roethlisberger, ‘Tout l’ouevre peint de Claude Lorrain’, Paris, 1986, no. 213
- 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