Claude Lorrain

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Claude Lorrain
The Sermon on the Mount
ca. 1656
Pen and brown ink, and wash, over black chalk on laid paper; divided into quadrants in black chalk.
9 9/16 x 14 1/16 inches (243 x 371 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
I, 272
Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), London (Lugt 2364); his sale, London, Phillips, 5 March 1798; Reverend Henry Wellesley (1794-1866), Oxford; his sale, London, Sotheby's, 25 June-10 July, 1866, lot 2364?; Sir William Richard Drake (1817-1890), London (no mark, see Lugt 723, 736, 2473); his sale, London, Christie's, 24-25 May 1892, lot 403; 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.

Collection J. Pierpont Morgan : Drawings by the Old Masters Formed by C. Fairfax Murray. London : Privately printed, 1905-1912, I, 272, repr.
Denison, Cara D. French Drawings, 1550-1825. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984, no. 21.
The Master's Hand : Drawings and Manuscripts from the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1998, no. 7, repr. in color.
Roethlisberger, Marcel, Claude Lorrain. The Drawings, 1968, no. 768.


For ambitious paintings such as The Sermon on the Mount, painted in 1656 for the Bishop of Montpellier (now in the Frick Collection, New York), Claude produced several compositional studies; this is the third of four drawings of the scene. Claude sets the narrative in a vast landscape that strives for topographical accuracy, although he never visited the Holy Land. The distant Mount Lebanon and the Sea of Galilee are at right, and the Dead Sea and the river Jordan are at left. At center is Mount Tabor, where Christ, as described in the Gospel of Matthew, is shown preaching to the multitude. -- Exhibition Label, From "Poussin, Claude, and French Drawing in the Classical Age"

Associated names: 

Reynolds, Joshua, Sir, 1723-1792, former owner.
Wellesley, Henry, 1791-1866, former owner.
Drake, William Richard, Sir, 1817-1890, former owner.
Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.

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