Claude Lorrain

Pastoral Caprice with the Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum

About this artwork

This drawing was once attributed to the eighteenth-century Scottish painter John Runciman until it was correctly identified in 1967. It is a study for a picture of 1648 which is recorded in Claude’s ‘Liber Veritatis’ (‘Book of Truth’), which contained over two hundred etchings recording his original work. In Claude’s day the Arch of Constantine was still partially embedded in the ground due to the accumulation of dirt and deposits around it over the centuries. Claude has shown this both in this drawing and in the final painting. The conceit of moving the Arch and the Colosseum into a fanciful Campagna setting has led to suggestions that the patron of the painting might have lived abroad rather than in Rome.

Updated before 2020

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Claude Lorrain

Claude Lorrain