- Museum number
View on the Campo Vaccino, record of painting in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, from the Liber Veritatis; Roman Forum viewed from the W, buildings include at left the Arch of Septimius Severus
Pen and brown ink and brown wash on blue paper
- Production date
Height: 188 millimetres
Width: 263 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See 1957,1214.6 for information on the Liber Veritatis.
This drawing has been shown by Michael Kitson to be based on an earlier painting by Swanevelt, now in the Fitzwilliam (see inv. 367). It is record of a view of the Forum in Rome painted for Philippe de Béthune, French ambassador in Rome, that is now in the Louvre (inv. 311; Roethlisberger 1961, LV9). The composition corresponds exactly apart from the fact that in the drawing, the foreground figures are slightly larger; the tree at the right is differently shaped; and the campanile of S. Francesca Romana rises clear above the outline of the Colosseum. To quote from Kitson, no. 9: ‘These differences would not be worth mentioning but for the fact that they also occur in a preparatory composition drawing in the British Museum (RD, 122) and, in reverse, in Claude’s etching of the view, Blum 17, dated 1636 (which supplies the date of the painting). The two drawings and this etching are almost the same size. It therefore seems likely that the British Museum drawing was made, or at any rate used, as a study for the etching, which came after the painting, rather than for the painting itself. This would fit in with the supposition that Claude would have needed a reasonably complete model for the etching, since he could not improvise on the copper plate in the same way that he could when working on canvas. Further evidence that this was the sequence of events is provided by a large pentimenti, visible under X-rays, in the lower right corner of the painting, of which the British Museum drawing shows no trace.
Some architectural details of the composition are recorded on the verso of LV5 (for which see BM, 1957,1214.11). This is also the first drawing on blue paper in the Liber.
Earlom 10 (sic); Caracciolo, 13;
Lit: M. Roethlisberger, ‘Claude Lorrain. The Drawings’, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1968, nos. 122 & 123; M. Roethlisberger, Claude Lorrain, The Paintings, London 1961, LV9, pp. 110–15; M. Kitson, ‘Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis’, London 1978, no. 9; M. Kitson, Revue des Arts, VIII, 1958, pp. 259-66; A. Stolzenburg in exhib. cat. (ed. by A. Stolzenburg & D. Klemm), Hamburg, Kunsthalle, ‘Das Licht der Campagna. Die Zeichnungen Claude Lorrains im British Museum’, 2017–18, no. 5 no.64-65, see entry no. 4, pp.62-63
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1977 BM, 'Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis'
1978/9 Oct-Jan, Paris, Musée du Louvre, 'Claude Lorrain', no. 8
1998 Jun-Sep, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, 'Claude Lorrain', no. 19
1998/9 Sep-Jan, BM, 'Claude Lorrain', no.19
2006/7 Oct-Jan, San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 'Claude Lorrain:...'
2007 Feb-April, Williamstown, Clark Art Institute, 'Claude Lorrain:...'
2007 May-Aug, Washington, National Gallery of Art, 'Claude Lorrain:...'
2017 - 2018 13 Oct-14 Jan, Hamburg: Das Licht der Campagna. Die Zeichnungen Claude Lorrains im British Museum, London
- 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