- Museum number
Landscape with Jacob, Rachel and Leah at the well, record of a painting in St Petersburg, Hermitage, No 1234, from the Liber Veritatis; three figures standing by a well, at which sheep are drinking, a group of trees beyond, a bridge below at left, a temple on a hill at right.
Pen and brown ink, with grey wash, heightened with white; on blue paper
- Production date
Height: 194 millimetres
Width: 257 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See 1957,1214.6 for information on the Liber Veritatis.
This is the only instance of Claude depicting this biblical episode from Genesis (xxix, 2-12), and his treatment of it was informed by Raphael’s rendition of the scene in the Vatican loggia. The development of the composition can be traced through a number of drawings and multiple works, commencing with LV134, which also depicts an episode from the life of Jacob (see 1957,1214.140). Of the 6 extant preparatory drawings, all are relatively consistent in their overall conception of the scene and only differ in details such as proportions (see Roethlisberger 1968, nos. 959––964, for two in the BM see inv. nos. 1895,0915.907; 1910,0212.93). The completed composition is notable for its deep landscape that is broken up by the tall central tree as this is the only instance in Claude’s oeuvre that he decided to break up a landscape in such a way. The painting that the drawing records is now in the Hermitage, St Petersburg (inv. no. 1234; canvas, 113 157 cm; Roethlisberger 1986, no. 240) and is more grandiose in composition than the present drawing, with elements such as the trees in the centre being diminished in height. The painting forms a pendant with LV181, which again depicts an episode from the life of Jacob (see 1957,1214.187). The patron was Henri van Hamale, the Dean of Antwerp Cathedral, who commissioned the work through his agent in Rome.
Lit: M. Roethlisberger, Claude Lorrain, The Paintings, London 1961, LV169, pp. 399–401; M. Roethlisberger, ‘Claude Lorrain. The Drawings’, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1968, no. 965; M. Kitson, ‘Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis’, London 1978, no. 169; M. Roethlisberger, ‘Tout l’œuvre peint de Claude Lorrain’, Paris, 1986, no. 240
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1977 BM, Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis
- 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