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Liber Veritatis

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1872,1012.4663

  • Title (series)

    • Liber Veritatis
  • Description

    Coast scene, with view looking out to sea, with three figures on shore in foreground, group loading a boat at right, portico at left, and beyond a sailing ship at left, and boats alongside cliff at right, in background tower at centre. 1774
    Mezzotint and etched lines, printed in dark brown

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1774
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 202 millimetres
    • Width: 259 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with producers names, number: 'No.2', and publication address: 'Published Jan. 1st 1774 by John Boydell Engraver in Cheapside'.
        Annotation in pencil at the back describing the plate (old handwritting).
  • Curator's comments

    See related drawing: 1957,1214.8.
    Earlom made a set of prints after Claude's Liber Veritatis while it was in the collection of the Dukes of Devonshire at Chatsworth, bound into an album together with a frontispiece portrait of Claude and five unrelated drawings, bringing the total number of drawings by Claude contained in it to 200. For information on the Liber, see 1957,1214.6.
    The Earlom set was engraved between 1774 and 1777, published by Boydell in two volumes in 1777, each containing 100 prints, numbered 1-200. A third volume of 100 prints was published by Boydell in 1819, (the So-Called Liber Veritatis) which was numbered separately, 1-100, and contained Earlom's prints after other drawings by Claude in various collections.
    See M Kitson, 'Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis', 1978, and P&D pressmarks 161.d.16 and 17, 161.b.20.
    Abbey describes the set in 'Abbey Life', no. 200.
    There is an old tradition that the plates were first produced only in outline, and Boydell expected only a small sale. But the demand was such that mezzotint tone was added, and the plates had to be refreshed five or six times (see the essay on the British school of engraving in Arnold's Library of the Fine Arts, July 1832, IV p.13).

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  • Bibliography

    • Liber Veritatis 1978 2 bibliographic details
    • Röthlisberger 1961 2 (see) bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (French Masters Portfolio)

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1872

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1872,1012.4663

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Object reference number: PPA171852

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