This brush drawing is made on white paper, with tonal variety provided only through the liquid wash. It is a remarkable view of the countryside outside Rome, and one of Claude's most remarkable drawings. The view has been identified as taken from the hill above the Ponte Molle (the ancient Milvian Bridge), not far from another favourite site, the Villa Madama. The artist looked back towards Rome, along the route of the River Tiber, shown as a patch of pure white paper, framed by dark and light washes. Trees cast darker shadows or reflections, suggested in wash. Then a lighter wash is applied, merging with the darker wash to produce a mysterious quality. The different shapes of tree foliage are modelled in pure dark wash, framed either by the white of the paper or lighter tones of other wash. The mountains rise in the background, drawn in a more atmospheric and finer technique. Their slopes are indicated by thinner wash and speckled with light. This is one of the best examples of Claude drawing outside in the open air, with no other purpose than to record the effects of light and shade in nature, but the drawing was never used for one of his painted landscapes.


  • Title: The Tiber from Monte Mario
  • Creator: Claude Lorrain
  • Date Created: 1640
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 185.00mm; Width: 268.00mm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Medium: Drawn
  • Technique: drawn
  • Registration number: Oo,7.212
  • Producer: Drawn by Claude Lorrain
  • Material: paper
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Bequeathed by Payne Knight, Richard

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps