Diversity of landscape drawings

Even if he basically concentrated on one genre, landscape, Claude’s mature drawings are striking for their wealth of techniques, variety of viewpoints, and diversity of effects. A new category of drawing that he developed in these years was “drawing with painterly effects,” meaning large-scale drawings which were works of art in their own right, unrelated to a painting. The distinction between preparatory sketch and full-fledged drawing nevertheless remains vague, because Claude liked to do elaborate sketches. Thus the Rape of Europa, which belonged to Louis XIV, might be a final preliminary sketch or an autonomous drawing. In contrast, the small canvas of a Sheep-fold is perhaps the only surviving oil sketch in Claude’s hand that was done on the spot.