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Landscape with Jacob's journey into Canaan (Genesis XXXIII, 12-18), record of painting in Williamstown, Massachusetts from the Liber Veritatis; in foreground herdsman with a dog, cattle and goats crossing a river, beyond at right other figures with flocks and herds, including camels, and at left building
Pen and brown ink and brown wash, with black chalk
- Production date
Height: 190 millimetres
Width: 252 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See 1957,1214.6 for information on the Liber Veritatis.
It is not immediately evident what the subject of this scene is, and the emphasis on the landscape might favour its identification as a purely pastoral caprice. Details, however, such as the camels and the caravan were meant to allude to the Holy Lands, and therefore that it is of a biblical scene. It is generally identified as the procession of Jacob towards Cannan (Gen. xxxiii, 12–18). This is in part because the preceding scene in the Liber also depicts an episode from the Life of Jacob (see inv. no. 1957,1214.194) and that the pianting was commissioned by the abbot Chevalier who likely would have requested a biblical scene. The composition itself is essentially derived from that developed in a pastoral landscape of 1647 (see inv. no. 1957,1214.113) and this insertion into the scene explains in part why it is not clearly identifiable as a religious scene. A highly finished preparatory drawing in Chatsworth shows how Claude made modification to this earlier scene by replacing a castle with a distant hill town (see inv. no. 948; Roethlisberger 1968, no. 1097). The painting that the drawing records is now in the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown MA (inv. no. 1955.42; canvas, 71.2 x 95 cm; Roethlisberger 1986, no. 267).
Lit: M. Roethlisberger, Claude Lorrain, The Paintings, London 1961, LV189, pp. 444–445; M. Roethlisberger, ‘Claude Lorrain. The Drawings’, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1968, no. 1098; M. Kitson, ‘Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis’, London 1978, no. 189; M. Roethlisberger, ‘Tout l’œuvre peint de Claude Lorrain’, Paris, 1986, no. 267
- 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
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