- Museum number
Coast scene with Mercury, Herse and Aglauros, illustration from Book II of Ovid's 'Metamorphoses', record of the painting in Rome from the Liber Veritatis; in foreground figures beside broken columns and entablature, and river god on shore, beyond Colosseum at right
Pen and brown ink and brown wash
- Production date
Height: 197 millimetres
Width: 264 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- See 1957,1214.6 for information on the Liber Veritatis.
Cardinal Rospigliosi commissioned this scene from Claude in 1643, prior to his election to Pope Clement IX in 1667. It is the only instance in which Claude depicted this episode from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the motive for the Cardinal’s selection of this scene remains obscure. Nonethless, the extsnive inscription on the verso, describing the Ovidian episode shows that there must have been a specific choice for its selection. Claude certainly used this commission, however, as an oppourntity to incorporate various motifs derived from his study of ancient Rome including an amphotheature, ruined temple and River god. Comparison with the completed painting, now in the Pallavicini Collection (see Roethlisberger 1961, fig. 142), shows that Claude copied the painting closely with minor revisions including the extension of the tree further into the left half of the composition.
In the 1660s, Claude made two drawn copies after the present drawing (Roethlisberger 1968, no.979 ff) The more finished of these two served as a model for an etching of 1668 that was executed by Dominique Barriere. This print model entered the Rospolgliosi-Pallavicini Collection, perhaps either as a gift or sold, in order to complement the painting in Rospogliosi’s/Pope Clement’s collection.
Lit: M. Roethlisberger, Claude Lorrain, The Paintings, London 1961, LV70, pp. 212–214; M. Roethlisberger, ‘Claude Lorrain. The Drawings’, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1968, no. 526; M. Kitson, ‘Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis’, London 1978, no. 70.
- 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
- 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