The painting has been identified with one of the drawings in the Liber Veritatis. The inscription on the back of this drawing states that the painting was executed in Rome for a client in Paris. The contrast between intense light in the background and the lyrical shadow in the foreground is characteristic of Claude’s landscapes, as is the building to the left, similar to many still visible in the Roman Campagna.
Inscription: Signed (lower center): CLAVdio [AV in monogram] Gille f [ROM?]A [signature reinforced?]
private collection, Paris; Bourchier Cleeve, Foot's Cray Place, Kent (until d. 1760); his daughter, Ann Cleeve, Foot's Cray Place (1760–1765; married George Yonge, 1765); Sir George Yonge (1765–1806; sale, White, London, March 24–25, 1806, no. 85, as "A Landscape–Morning breaking forth, a View of the Campagna near Rome," for £178.10 to Norton); William Esdaile, London (1806–d. 1837; his estate sale, Christie's, London, March 24, 1838, no. 71, for £241.10, to Nieuwenhuys); John Rushout, 2nd Lord Northwick, Thirlestane House, Cheltenham (1838–d. 1859; his estate sale, Phillips, Thirlestane House, July 26–August 30, 1859, no. 416, for 116 gns.); John Samuel Wanley Sawbridge Erle-Drax, Olantigh Towers, Kent (1859–d. 1887); his nephew, Wanley Ellis Sawbridge Erle-Drax, Olantigh Towers (1887–d. 1928; posthumous sale, Christie's, London, June 28, 1929, no. 90, as "The Piping Herdsman," for £609 to Rothschild); [Max Rothschild (Sackville Gallery), London, from 1929]; [Stephan Bourgeois, New York, until 1934; sold to Lehman]; Arthur Lehman, New York (1934–d. 1936); Adele L. (Mrs. Arthur) Lehman, New York (1936–65)
New York. Durlacher Brothers. "An Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by Claude Lorrain," 1938, no. 8 (as "Landscape with a Castle," lent by Mrs. Arthur Lehman).
New York. World's Fair. "Masterpieces of Art: European & American Paintings, 1500–1900," May–October 1940, no. 46 (as "Landscape with a Castle," lent by Mrs. Arthur Lehman).
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "Six Centuries of Landscape," March 7–April 13, 1952, no. 21 (as "The Roman Campagna," lent by Mrs. Arthur Lehman).
New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc. "Masterpieces: A Memorial Exhibition for Adele R. Levy," April 6–May 7, 1961, no. 15 (as "Landscape with a Castle," lent by Mrs. Arthur Lehman).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 15, 1970–February 15, 1971, no. 294.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Patterns of Collecting: Selected Acquisitions, 1965–1975," December 6, 1975–March 23, 1976, unnumbered cat.
San Diego Museum of Art. "5000 Years of Art from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 10–December 6, 1981, no. 45.
Champaign-Urbana. Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois. "5000 Years of Art from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 10–March 7, 1982, no. 45.
Mobile, Ala. Fine Arts Museum of the South. "5000 Years of Art from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 30–May 9, 1982, no. 45.
Midland, Mich. Midland Center for the Arts. "5000 Years of Art from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 13–August 25, 1982, no. 45.
Little Rock. Arkansas Arts Center. "5000 Years of Art from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 19–November 14, 1982, no. 45.
Recueil de catalogues de principales collections de tableaux qui subsistent actuellement tant en Angleterre qu'ailleurs . . . Vol. 1, 1765–1774 [ms. in Frick Art Reference Library, New York] p. 22, no. 21, listed as "Le Matin," in the Bou[r]chier Cleeve collection.
[Thomas Martyn]. The English Connoisseur: Containing an Account of Whatever is Curious in Painting, Sculpture, &c. in the Palaces and Seats of the Nobility and Principal Gentry of England, Both in Town and Country. London, 1766, vol. 1, p. 58, lists it as "Landscape Morning," in the West End Gallery in the Bou[r]chier Cleeve collection.
P. Russel and Owen Price, ed. England Displayed: Being a new, complete, and accurate Survey and Description of the Kingdom of England, and Principality of Wales . . . 1769, vol. 1, p. 144, no. 21 [see Ref. Virch 1965], as in the Bou[r]chier Cleeve collection.
Liber Veritatis; or A Collection of Prints, After the Original Designs of Claude Le Lorrain . . . Executed by Richard Earlom . . . Vol. 1, Boydell ed. London, , p. 15, no. 42, describes Liber Veritatis no. 42 [which records this painting] as "A Landscape traversed by a River, beyond which is a Temple on a rising ground. A Shepherdess listening to the music of a pipe played by a Herdsman is in the foreground."; notes that the picture was made for Paris; cites no "present location".
John Smith. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters. Vol. 8, London, 1837, p. 214, no. 42, bases his description of the painting on LV 42.
Léon de Laborde. "Notes manuscrites de Claude Gellé, dit Le Lorrain: Extraites du recueil de ses dessins." Archives de l'art français: Recueil de documents inédits relatifs à l'histoire des arts en France Ed. Ph. de Chennevières. 1 (1851–52), p. 444, records the note on the verso of Liber Veritatis no. 42, "Quadr[o] fait pour paris," which he considers not in Claude's hand.
[Gustav Friedrich] Waagen. Treasures of Art in Great Britain. London, 1854, vol. 3, p. 198, no. 4, describes this painting as with Lord Northwick in Thirlestaine House and places it in Claude's middle period; calls it "wonderfully delicate, but injured".
Mme Mark Pattison [Lady Dilke] J. Rouam. Claude Lorrain, sa vie et ses oeuvres d'après des documents inédits. Paris, 1884, p. 211, no. 42, lists the Liber Veritatis drawing and reads the incription on its verso as "Claudio fecit in V. R. quadro fait pour Paris"; does not mention the painting.
Owen J. Dullea. Claude Gellée le Lorrain. London, 1887, p. 104, no. 42, lists the Liber Veritatis drawing but does not mention the painting.
Marcel Röthlisberger. Claude Lorrain: The Paintings. New Haven, 1961, vol. 1, pp. 173–74; vol. 2, fig. 108, records the inscriptions on LV 42 as "Quadro faict pour paris" and "Claudio fecit in V.R." and attributes them to Claude himself; catalogues the picture, in a private collection, New York [Adele Lehman] as "Pastoral Landscape"; suggests a date of 1639, considers the condition "fair," and states that the shepherdess present in LV 42 has been covered by overpaint, but is still recognizable through the surface; erroneously claims that the picture was illustsrated in The Burlington Magazine in 1931.
Claus Virch. The Adele and Arthur Lehman Collection. New York, 1965, pp. 44–45, ill., accepts a date of 1639; says technical examination of the painting has been unable to prove that the figure of the shepherdess ever existed; mentions a copy of our picture, also without the shepherdess, sold at Charpentier's, Paris, June 4, 1937, no. 11, pl. 3; remarks that when the picture was in the Bou[r]chier-Cleeve and Yonge collections it had a pendant called "Evening," which cannot be definitively identified with any known painting by Claude.
Marcel Roethlisberger. Claude Lorrain: The Drawings. Berkeley, 1968, vol. 1, p. 166, dates our picture 1639, incorrectly placing it in the collection of Mrs. Arthur Lehman; publishes Liber Veritatis no. 42 (cat. no. 346; vol. 2, pl. 346) and states that "the girl [shepherdess] was removed by a later hand, . . . a claim contested by Virch" [Ref. 1965].
Hubert von Sonnenburg. Memo to Everett Fahy. August 9, 1971, observes that he was not able to recognize traces of a shepherdess [see Ref. Röthlisberger 1961] through the greatly discolored varnish, or after its removal, and that no repaint was found; notes, furthermore, that there are "no indications of the presence of such a figure in the x-radiograph and no traces of its possible deliberate removal from the paint surface".
Anthony M. Clark inThe Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965–1975. New York, 1975, p. 83, ill.
Doretta Cecchi inL'opera completa di Claude Lorrain. Milan, 1975, p. 98, no. 106, ill., dates it 1639; states that the shepherdess in the Liber Veritatis drawing originally appeared in our picture but has been overpainted.
Michael Kitson. Claude Lorrain: Liber Veritatis. London, 1978, p. 78, publishes Liber Veritatis 42 and repeats Röthlisberger's [Ref. 1961] remarks about the original presence of the shepherdess in our painting.
John Pope-Hennessy. Letter to Marcel Röthlisberger. April 29, 1980, observes that the shepherdess shown in the Liber Veritatis drawing is not visible through the painting's surface, and that "there really is no way of establishing with confidence whether this is a copy or a much overcleaned original".
Claude Lorrain (1600–1682): An Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings, Partly from Private Collections, to Mark the Artist's Tercentenary. Exh. cat., Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. London, 1982, p. 17.
Pierre Rosenberg. France in the Golden Age: Seventeenth-century French Paintings in American Collections. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1982, p. 360, no. 5, ill. [French ed., La peinture française du XVIIe siècle dans les collections américaines, Paris, 1982].
Marcel Roethlisberger. Im Licht von Claude Lorrain: Landschaftsmalerei aus drei Jahrhunderten. Exh. cat., Haus der Kunst München. Munich, 1983, pp. 106, 285.
Christopher Wright. The French Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Boston, 1985, p. 163.