Claude Gellée, called Claude Lorrain

Download image: 
Claude Gellée, called Claude Lorrain
A Hilly Landscape, with Bare Trees
Brush and brown wash, over black chalk, on paper.
8 1/4 x 12 inches (210 x 305 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
III, 82b


Download verso image: 
Inscribed in pen and brown ink, at lower right of the recto, "13", deleted; lower verso, in red chalk, "CLAV/R.IV".
Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919), London and Florence; from whom purchased through Galerie Alexandre Imbert, Rome, in 1909 by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), New York (no mark; see Lugt 1509); his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943), New York.

Joachim van Sandrart, who often accompanied Claude on long days drawing from nature, remarked that his friend “tried by every means to penetrate nature, lying in the fields before the break of the day and until night.” This naturalistic landscape was at least partly executed while Claude explored the area around Tivoli. With stark hills and barren trees, it is a striking contrast to his idealized landscapes. Yet it is signed on the verso with an inscription that can be interpreted as Claude Roma in Urbe (“Claude in the city of Rome”). For all the drawing’s observation of nature, the artist seems to have finished the work in his Roman studio.


Watermark: fleur-de-lis within a circle.

Artist page: