Drawn by the Brush: Oil Sketches by Peter Paul Rubens
About the Exhibition Online Exhibition Timeline Catalog Essays Teacher Resources Credits

Click on a heading in the left frame to view a group of oil sketches relating to a particular theme, or select a thumbnail to see and read more about an individual work. Texts are adapted from the exhibition catalog. Purchase the catalog.


Introduction

The Church Triumphant


Rubens as Entrepreneur: Designs for Sculpture, Architecture and Prints


History and Politics: Glory to the Hero


The Workings of the Studio: Head Studies, Portrait and Genre


Myth and Majesty: The Humanistic Tradition


Landscape and Hunt Scenes: Projects for Philip IV

The Church Triumphant

In 1545, the Holy Roman Church's Council of Trent officially condemned the doctrines of Protestantism. This led to the Counter-Reformation, a fervent reinvigoration of the Catholic faith in Europe, accomplished by a dramatic rise in the construction of new churches and the lavish decoration of existing ones. During his career, Rubens created works for virtually every Catholic religious order. These works reflected his deep understanding of the theological arguments and visual rhetoric needed to support this resurgence of the Catholic faith.

Peter Paul Rubens
Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1617-18
Oil on panel, 48.2 x 64.8 cm
Private Collection (Courtesy David Koetser, Zurich)


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
Christ on the Cross, ca. 1618-20
Oil on panel, 20.3 x 15.3 cm
Otto Naumann, Ltd., New York


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
The Virgin as the Woman of the Apocalypse, ca. 1623-24
Oil on panel, 63.5 x 49.2 cm
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, acc. no. 85.PB.146


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
The Glorification of the Eucharist, ca. 1633-35
Oil on panel, 71.1 x 48.3 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Ogden Mills, 1929. (37.160.12)
www.metmuseum.org


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
The Martyrdom of St. Paul, ca. 1637
Oil on panel, 38 x 22.9 cm
Private collection


About this work


The Jesuit Church at Antwerp

Peter Paul Rubens
St. Gregory of Nazianzus, 1620-21
Oil on panel, 50.2 x 65.4 cm
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, George B. Matthews Fund, 1952, inv. 1952:14


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
The Last Supper, 1620-21
Oil on panel, 43.8 x 44.1 cm
Seattle Art Museum, Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, acc. no. 61.166


About this work


Triumph of the Eucharist Series

Peter Paul Rubens
The Gathering of Manna, ca. 1626
Oil on panel, 64.8 x 52.3 cm
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Frances and Armand Hammer Purchase Fund, inv. M.69.20


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy in Adoration, ca. 1626
Oil on panel, 66.7 x 46.7 cm
The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, Gift in memory of George W. Norton IV, by his mother, Mrs. George W. Norton, Jr., and his aunt, Mrs. Leonard T. Davidson, 1966.16


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek, ca. 1628
Oil on panel, 66 x 82.5 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Gift of Syma Busiel, 1958.4.1 (1506)


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
Charity Enlightening the World, ca. 1627-28
Oil on panel, 36.8 x 29.4 cm
Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Museum Purchase, acc. no. AC 1961.142


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
The Succession of the Popes (Allegory of Eternity), ca. 1626
Oil on panel, 66 x 34.3 cm
San Diego Museum of Art (Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam, 1947; funds for Nazi-era restitution settlement provided by the estate of Walter Fitch III, 2004), inv. 1947:8


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
The Triumph of Hope, ca. 1625
Oil on panel, 16 x 19 cm
Collection Richard L. Feigen


About this work



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