CLAUDE Gellée, dit le Lorrain (c.1600-1682, artist). - Richard EARLOM (1742-1822, engraver)
Liber Veritatis; or A Collection of Prints after the original designs of Claude le Lorrain; in the collection of [vol.I-II] His Grace the Duke of Devonshire [vol.III: the Duke of Devonshire, Earl Spencer, Richard Payne Knight, Benjamin West..., Charles Lambert, Edward Turnor, George Gosling, and Joseph Farrington]. Executed by Richard Earlom, in the manner and taste of the drawings. To which is added a descriptive catalogue of each print; together with the names of those for whom, and the places for which, the original pictures were first painted ... and the present possessors of many of the original pictures
London: [vols.I-II] published by Messrs. Boydell & Co, printed by W.Bulmer & Co; [vol.III:] published by Hurst, Robinson & Co., printed by Thomas Davison, [1774-1775]; [1775-1777]; -1819. 3 volumes, small folio. (16 1/4 x 10 3/4 inches). 2 mezzotint portraits (of Claude and Earlom), 1 stipple-engraved portrait of John Boydell. 300 etchings with mezzotint, all printed in bistre, all by Earlom after Claude.
Expertly bound to style in half russia over period marbled paper covered boards
"The first complete edition, with the engravings [sic.] in the best and final state, embodying the important drawings from the great English collections of the period" (Abbey).
"This capital work, a landmark in the history of the reproduction of master drawings, is ... an important forerunner of later publications on [Art Collections]... It contains 300 etchings of drawings by Claude Lorrain, pastoral, mythological, and biblical subjects, and was called Liber Veritatis [Book of Truth] for the purpose of identifying Claude's genuine works from forgeries, or from drawings wrongly attributed to the master. They are all printed in a warm bistre colour to aid the resemblance ... The catalogues in each volume give a comprehensive description of each drawing, indicating also for whom they were executed, which pictures were painted from them, and the ownership at the date of publication of the book - in short, a real catalogue raisonné" (Abbey).
Abbey Life 200; Lowndes II, p.1398.