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

Purchase the catalog. 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.


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

History and Politics: Glory to the Hero

This section gathers oil sketches for various projects to investigate the relationship between art, history, and politics in Rubens's life and work. Rubens's brilliant compositions combining history and mythology with contemporary political figures reflect his training in the classics and his political and diplomatic savoir-faire.

Peter Paul Rubens
Decius Mus Relating His Dreams, ca. 1617
Oil on panel transferred to canvas (1773) in turn transferred to masonite (c. 1954-55), 80.7 x 84.5 cm
Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C, 1957.14.2 (1394)


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
The Emperor Julius Caesar, ca. 1626
Oil on panel, 33 x 26.6 cm
Stephen Mazoh, New York


About this work
Peter Paul Rubens
The Duke of Buckingham, ca. 1625
Oil on panel, 46.6 x 51.7 cm
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, no. AP 1876.08


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
Briseis Returned to Achilles (detail), 1630-31
Oil on panel, 45.4 x 67.6 cm (without the added strips)
The Detroit Institute of Art, Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar B. Whitcomb, acc. no. 53.356


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
The Reconciliation of King Henry III and Henry of Navarre, 1628
Oil on panel, 22.5 x 18.4 cm
Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester: Marion Stratton Gould Fund, acc. no. 44.24


About this work


The Life of Constantine

Peter Paul Rubens
The Triumphant Entry of Constantine into Rome (detail), 1622
Oil on panel, 48.6 x 64.5 cm
Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Clowes Collection, inv. IMA2001.237


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
The Labarum, 1622
Oil on panel, 35.4 x 27.5 cm
Private collection


About this work


Ceiling for the Banqueting House, Whitehall

Peter Paul Rubens
Two Figure Studies (Mercury and a Yeoman), ca. 1632-33
Oil on panel, 63.5 x 53 cm (2.5 cm strip added at right)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund 42.179


About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
Peace Embracing Plenty, ca. 1632-34
Oil on panel, 62.9 x 47 cm
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B1977.14.70


About this work



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