- Museum number
Coast scene with Jonah and the Whale, not part of the Liber Veritatis proper but added to it after Claude's death; figure walking towards the ruins of an arch with columns, a whale in the sea near a wooded shore
Pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash, heightened with white
- Production date
Height: 185 millimetres
Width: 257 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See 1957,1214.6 for information on the Liber Veritatis.
This drawing did not form part of the Liber Veritatis proper, but was instead added after Claude's death (for comment see 1957,1214.202). As the first part of Claude’s inscription of the verso shows, this drawing is a preparatory study for LV 171 (1957,1214.177), painted for Monsieur de Bourlemont in 1667. The the second part of the inscription reads ‘I make a present (of the drawing) to Signor Don Bruno (?), Secretary to Monseigneur (de Bourlemont)’. The name and appointment of the intended recipient are not certain, however what it indicates is that Claude may sometimes have given the secretaries of his patron preparatory studies for his paintings as a return for services rendered. In the present case, however, one has to say ‘intended’ recipient in this case, as the drawing can hardly have reached him, or it would not have been included at the back of the Liber Veritatis.
To return the drawing itself, the columns at the left were clearly added as an afterthought. The same cannot be said of the figure in the foreground. In turn, this strengthens the possibility mentioned by Kitson 1978, no. 171 that the painting was intended to represent Jonah walking on the seashore after being disgorged by the whale, rather than Ezekiel Mourning over the Destruction of Tyre.
In the intensity of the chiaroscuro, the luminousity of the light reflections on the water and the combinations of Roman architecture and Arcadian nature, it also brings together many of the key components of Claude's art. As such, it was a fitting sheet to choose as the last page to Claude's Liber Veritatis.
Lit: M. Roethlisberger, Claude Lorrain, The Paintings, London 1961, LV200, pp. 455–457; M. Roethlisberger, ‘Claude Lorrain. The Drawings’, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1968, no. 969; M. Kitson, ‘Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis’, London 1978, no. 200.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1977 BM, Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis
2006/7 Oct-Jan, San Francisco, Legion of Honor, 'Claude Lorrain:...'
2007 Feb-April, Williamstown, Clark Art Institute, 'Claude Lorrain:...'
2007 May-Aug, Washington, Nat Gall of Art, 'Claude Lorrain:...'
- 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