Landscape with Saint John the Baptist Preaching, 1655
pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash and graphite over black chalk, heightened with opaque white, on cream laid paper
24.8 x 31.8 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 4556)
The subject of the drawing reprises the theme of John the Baptist preaching, this time as recounted in Luke 3:1-18, where John proclaims the good news to the people. Despite the finished appearance of this composition and the existence of numerous studies on the same theme, Claude Lorrain produced no related paintings. Inspired by the Roman campagna and Annibale Carracci's conception of the classical landscape, this sheet illustrates the artist's passion for interpreting atmospheric phenomena, both in his studies from nature and in his compositional landscapes.