Artibus et Historiae no. 61 (XXXI)2010, ISSN 0391-9064
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HILLIARD T. GOLDFARB - Landscape with Shepherd and Shepherdess: Toward a Reading of the Dartmouth Claude and its Implications for the Liber Veritatis
The relationship between the painting by Claude Lorrain at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College and the related record drawing Liber Veritatis 7, at the British Museum, has broader implications for our understanding of the early evolution and evolving intentions of the artist in the creation of that celebrated album. It is proposed that the album may have been begun about 1635 as a record book of compositional reference for significant works that were being sent abroad, rapidly expanding to include commissions for prestigious patrons and only consequently nearly all major compositions. An examination of the changes in drawing style in the earliest sheets, a comparison of Claude's treatment of figures in several of the early paintings with their handling and occasional removal in the associated Liber Veritatis sheets, and reference to his etchings of the period further assists in our understanding of the genesis of the Liber Veritatis. The Dartmouth College painting also is unique among Claude's paintings in its explicitly erotic narrative — a narrative removed from the Liber Veritatis record drawing — and this issue is also explored in its cultural and historical context.