- Museum number
A Seaport, record of the painting in the National Gallery, London (NG 5) from the Liber Veritatis; with figures along foreshore, and beyond at left a palace front, and behind it the Arch of Titus
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, heightened with white, on blue paper
- Production date
Height: 199 millimetres
Width: 267 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See 1957,1214.6 for information on the Liber Veritatis.
This drawing records a painting that Claude made in 1639 for Monsieur Gorio, who was an intimate of Pope Urban VIII. The composition is based on a painting that Claude made for the Pope (for which see BM 1957,1214.20; LV14) which may suggest that Gorio wanted to own a similar picture. It includes the Arch of Titus on the left and the large ship is repeated from another painting by Claude recorded in LV30. The painting is now in the National Gallery (inv. no. NG5).
Lit: M. Roethlisberger, Claude Lorrain, The Paintings, London 1961, LV43, pp. 174–75; M. Roethlisberger, ‘Claude Lorrain. The Drawings’, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1968, no. 348; M. Kitson, ‘Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis’, London 1978, no. 43, pp.78–79.
From Kitson 1978:
London, National Gallery, No. 5, Canvas, 99 x 129 cm; signed and dated on a slab of marble or stone bottom left, ‘CLAVDIO G. I.V ROM 1639(?)’. M. Davies, Natural Gallery Catalogues: French School, 2nd ed., 1957, p. 32, No. 5 (as dated 1644); MK and R in Burlington Magazine, CI, 1959, pp. 23f, note 46 (disagreeing about the date); RP, fig. 106 (as dated 1639). As is evident from this bibliography, there has been controversy over the reading of the date, which looks like 1644 but must be 1639 from the position of the drawing in the Liber Veritatis; 1639 is also right the picture on stylistic grounds. That the date appears to read as 1644 may be due to the past damage or overpainting; in its present state it certainly does not resemble the 1639 on the Coast Scene in Cincinnati, LV 44 (the two paintings are reproduced side by side in RP, figs.106 and 107, and the two signatures and dates in RP, figs. 433 and 435).
It is surely not an accident that, in painting this Seaport for Cardinal Giorio, who was chamberlain to Pope Urban VIII, Claude was careful not to re-use motives taken directly from the Seaport (LV 14) which he had already painted for the Pope. On the other hand, the reddish colouring and theatrical atmosphere of LV 43 have their nearest equivalent in that painting and they distinguish it from LV 28, from which the motives were taken (see above). The relationship of LV 43 to Claude’s earlier Harbour Scene (LV 31) for Giorio is also interesting. Again the motives are not repeated, except the Arch of Titus which is seen from a different angle, but the whole effect is grander and more spectacular. Drawing No. 43 corresponds to the painting exactly, except for the omission of the boat with two oarsmen near the quayside, centre left.
Earlom, 43; Caracciolo, 44.
- 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