- Museum number
Landscape with Psyche saved from drowning, from Book V of the 'Metamorphoses' (or 'Golden Ass'), by Apuleius, record of the painting in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, from the Liber Veritatis; in foreground at right Psyche saved from drowning by a winged putto symbolizing the river, in distance a palace
Pen and brown ink and grey-brown wash, on blue paper
- Production date
Height: 198 millimetres
Width: 256 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See 1957,1214.6 for information on the Liber Veritatis.
Claude had depicted an episode from the story of Pysche a couple of years earlier, in LV162 (see inv. no. 1957,1214.168), to which the present work formed a pendant commissioned by Cardinal Colonna. The painting is now in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne (inv. no. 1050; canvas, 92 x 156.5 cm; see Roethlisberher 1986, no. 238) The episode in which Psyche is saved from drowning at having caused Cupid to abandon her but is saved by the river, which Claude here represented as a winged putto. The castle in the background may have been meant to allude to that depicted in the pendant. The composition itself is adapted from LV166 (see 1957,1214.172) but the former’s pastoral character is modified into something more classical in keeping with the theme. The drawing itself also has a calming air, that is achieved through both the composition and the handling of media. The blue paper creates a midground on which Claude added light washes of pale grey-brown, and used a fine, yet foliate pen technique.
Lit: M. Roethlisberger, Claude Lorrain, The Paintings, London 1961, LV167, pp. 396–97; M. Roethlisberger, ‘Claude Lorrain. The Drawings’, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1968, no. 957; M. Kitson, ‘Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis’, London 1978, no. 167; M. Roethlisberger, ‘Tout l’ouevre peint de Claude Lorrain’, Paris, 1986, no. 238
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1977 BM, Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis
1994 Jan-Apr, London, National Gallery, 'Claude Lorrain' (no cat.)
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Metamorphoses
Associated Title: Golden Ass
- 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