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CLAUDE LORRAIN: SEPIA VIEWS

Richard Earlom (1743-1822) after Claude Lorrain (1600-1682). Claude Lorrain's Liber Veritatis.

Claude Gellee is better known in the United States as Claude Lorrain and in France as le Lorrain.  He was born in the village of Chamagne in Lorraine, which is now encompassed by eastern France.  A draftsman, painter, and etcher, he experienced immense success in his own lifetime and has been famous ever since for his landscapes and his river, coast, and harbor scenes suffused with the light of the rising or setting sun.Claude Lorrain was not given to writing about art, in fact only three letters are extant and no other writing exists.  However, a most unusual and splendid document does exist known as the Liber Veritatis ("Book of Truth"), a book of Claude Lorrain's drawings, in which he noted information on the dates of his works and his patrons.  Begun sometime in the 1630's, the Liber is composed of 195 drawings, most of them recording Lorrain's paintings.  He maintained the book until his death and became increasingly meticulous with his notations over the years.The Liber Veritatis was printed in three volumes each with 100 plates from 1777-1819.  The engravings were executed by Richard Earlom in imitation of the original drawings and printed in a warm bistre color.  The places for which the pictures were first painted were taken from the hand-writing of Claude Lorrain on the back of each drawing.Print: 11" x 17"