Gallery of prints for sale

Friday 29 October 2021

Claude Lorrain’s etching, “Le Naufrage”, c1640

Claude Lorrain (aka Claude Gellée, Claude; Claude Le Lorrain; Claudio di Lorena) (1600–1682)

“Le Naufrage” (aka “The Shipwreck”], c1640 (1638–41). This impression is from McCreery’s 1816 edition of “200 Etchings” printed from the original plate.

Lino Mannocci (1988) in “The Etchings of Claude Lorrain” advises that there is a related pen and ink drawing by Lorrain, “A Storm of the Coast”, after a now lost painting by Lorrain dated 1638–9 (based on an inscription on the drawing) (p. 216). Interestingly, the lost painting was executed for Paolo Giordano Orsini, Duke of Bracciano and this etching may have been commissioned before the painting to illustrate the Duke of Bracciano’s motto: “contra ventos et undas” (against winds and waves) (see Mannocci op.cit.).

The idea that this etching served as a visual metaphor for the Duke’s motto (in terms of finding success by stalwart perseverance through adversity), is crystalised in Andrew Brink’s (2013) description of Lorrain’s shipwreck scenes in “Ink and Light: The Influence of Claude Lorrain’s Etchings on England”: “… a sense of desperate peril as if life had descended into primal chaos, yet with the promise of the sun’s orb appearing on the horizon. … [in short] “disaster yet with light over the horizon” (p. 86)

Etching printed in a dark brown ink on cream wove paper, trimmed along the platemark with fragmentary text (verso) from the 1784 Paris edition of “Stirpes Novae” as is discussed by Mannocci (1988) p. 28 and by H Diane Russell (1982) in “Claude Lorrain 1600–1682”, p. 300.

Size: (sheet) 13.1 x 18.4 cm; (image borderline) 12.4 x 17.8 cm

Numbered in plate outside the image borderline: (lower left) “3”. There is also the barely visible and almost illegible traces of the inscriptions: (within the image borderline at lower centre) “CL inv.”; (below the image borderline right of centre): “N 44 10”.

State v (of v)

Mannocci 35; Blum 12; Robert-Dumesnil 7; Knab 128; Duplessis 7; Russell 44.

The Fine Art Museums of San Francisco offer the following description of this print: “In open water 2 ships pounded by waves; large sail ship on rocks at high point of land with crumbling tower; men on shore working at salvage” (

See also the description of this print offered by the British Museum:

Condition: a richly inked, strong impression, trimmed around the platemark with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, foxing or significant stains—there is a small mark at lower left corner—foxing. The verso of the sheet has a section of a print (“Stirpes Novae”) as documented in McCreery’s 1816 edition of “200 Etchings”.

I am selling this original etching from the 1816 edition by McCreery, executed by the one of the most famous artists of the 17th century, for a total cost of AU$388 (currently US$291.97/EUR252.53/GBP213.31 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this superb impression of one of Claude Lorrain’s most famous etchings—note that this print is reproduced on the dust jacket of Andrew Brink’s (2013) “Ink and Light: The Influence of Claude Lorrain’s Etchings on England”— please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold 

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