The Campagna book

Thanks to comments and numbers that he wrote on the back of the sheets, a sketchbook of studies used by Claude in the years 1638-40 has been reconstituted. He filled the sketchbook with drawings done during his walks in the campagna, or Roman countryside, hence its name of Campagna Book. The book was long ago dismembered and its pages are now dispersed across many collections, but eight of them are included in the exhibition. The subjects are highly varied, from rapid sketches of landscape done from life, to ships on calm or stormy seas, to studies of trees. Claude’s drawings of the port of Civitavecchia in this sketchbook were done in 1638-39 in preparation for a painting commissioned by Urban VIII. His trip along the coast of Latium also resulted in Coastal Landscape with Castello Orsini-Odescalchi, so meticulously executed that it seems like a little painting on paper.