The Liberation of St. Peter by Claude Lorrain

The Liberation of St. Peter by Claude Lorrain

Around 1635, Lorrain proceeded to a detailed description of his own work, which took shape in the so-called “Book of Truth.” He kept his notes until his death. The “Book of Truth” contains 195 sheets, each of which contains a hand-drawn copy of the picture, with information placed on the back of the sheet about who ordered this work and when.

According to the biographer Claude Lorrain, Philip Baldinucci, the artist did all this in order to “protect himself from the numerous fakes that were sold in Rome as originals belonging to his brush.” Lorrain himself said that when compiling the book, he paid special attention to details that were inaccessible for fake.

These small details he sometimes specially depicted in the figure in an enlarged form. It is not entirely clear whether the “Book of Truth” was created solely and exclusively for protection against fakes, but there is no doubt that it was very expensive for the artist. Most of the drawings in the “Book of Truth” are made with pen and ink.

Some of the drawings are grounded with colored chalk, and the glare on many copies is painted in white. Golden paint is added on two pictures. The only in the book “non-landscape” picture of Lorrain – “The Liberation of St. Peter.” Here we reproduce only the figures and the interior depicted on it. The work itself, unfortunately, has not been preserved.

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