Sepia toned mezzotint engraved by Richard Earlom after an original sketch in the Liber Veritatis (Book of Truth) owned by the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth.
Claude Gellee of 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 was then distributed around Europe so that his genuine paintings could be authenticated. The original Chatsworth copy of the Liber Veritatis contained 200 drawings, including a frontispiece portrait of Claude and five unrelated drawings. In 1774 the Duke of Devonshire lent his 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 was a master printmaker, specializing in mezzotint engraving. The full set was printed between 1774 and 1777 by Boydell in two volumes, each containing 100 prints, numbered 1-200. This engraving is from that original first edition set printed on watermarked laid paper.
Sepia toned mezzotint engraving.
9.5 x 13 ¾” sheet.
Excellent original condition.
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