Drawn by the Brush: Oil Sketches by Peter Paul Rubens
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The Workings of the Studio: Head Studies, Portrait and Genre
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Peter Paul Rubens
Studies for Figures in a Larder, ca. 1630-33
Oil on panel, 20.3 x 28.2 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, inv. 5146

Catalog Entry by Marjorie E. Wieseman

With swift, delicate strokes and a few well-placed dabs of color, Rubens sketched three figures—a woman, a boy, and a man—at opposite sides of this small panel. At left, a robust young woman stands with a large serving dish propped against her hip, her red-lined overskirt rucked up behind it. She reaches out with her left hand to arrest the forward lunge of the young boy seated on the table, who twists to grab some invisible object. At the opposite edge of the quickly outlined table is a man in doublet and breeches, cap on his head and apron and knife sheath tied around his waist. With a rather fierce expression, he gestures toward the table and brandishes a knife aloft in his right hand...

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