Claude Lorrain (1600-1682; French), after
Liber Veritatis (3 vols., London, 1777 and 1819; 300 prints by Richard Earlom)
Purchased, 1858
State Library of Victoria [RARE SEF 759.4 G28L]

The prints in volumes I and II reproduce the series of almost 200 pen and wash drawings by Claude himself, maintained as a record of his landscape paintings from 1635 onwards.

The prints were published in 1777, under the title Liber Veritatis, by John Boydell (1720-1804); he commissioned them from Richard Earlom (1743-1822), who produced them using a combination of etching and mezzotint. The third volume (1819) added 100 further prints after other paintings by or ascribed to Claude, made by Earlom himself in a comparable style. Bonhams, referring to another copy of vols.1-2 auctioned in 2008, quotes Abbey on these prints as “a landmark in the history of reproduction of master drawings.”

Claude’s original book of drawings, bought by the Duke of Devonshire in the early 1720s, passed into the collection of the British Museum in 1957.

[photo: from Bonhams auction entry 2018]


MPL 1857 III.i [1858], p.9 (and MPL 1861, p.95)

See SLV catalogue, for full bibliographic details. See also Michael Kitson, Claude Lorrain, Liber Veritatis, British Museum, 1978 (also held in the SLV); and, for reproductions of both the original drawings and the later prints, see (websites accessed 28 Nov.2020)

For Earlom, see Bénézit 5, p.31 and AKL 31(2002), pp.495-96 (with further details and references). For the Bonhams reference quoted, see (accessed 17 Dec.2020)