Claude de Lorrain. Pl. 46. From Liber Veritatis
London: John Boydell (1774-1777) 8 1/4 x 10 1/4 (plate marks) plus full margins. Engraving with etching, mezzotint & aquatint by Richard Earlom. Excellent condition.
Claude de Lorraine (French c. 1600-82), was a prolific and successful landscape painter whose paintings were so admired that forgeries of his work appeared for sale. To combat this, the artist created six albums of tinted hand drawn sketches of each of his completed paintings, and included the name of the purchaser of the painting on the reverse. The Liber Veritatis (Book of Truth) was then distributed around Europe so that his genuine paintings could be authenticated. The original Chatsworth copy of the Liber Veritatis contained 200 drawings. In 1774 the Duke of Devonshire lent this collection of Claude drawings to the publisher Boydell for the purpose of having them engraved, and Boydell hired Richard Earlom (English 1743-1822) to make engravings of each of the sketches.
Richard Earlom (1743-1822) was an independently wealthy engraver who made exquisitely complex works after the Dutch masters and dramatic genre scenes based on British painters, while these prints expressed the essentials of fine landscape. These reinforced the popularity of Claude de Lorrain by taking his works to the public through fine prints.