Drawn by the Brush: Oil Sketches by Peter Paul Rubens
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History and Politics: Glory to the Hero
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Peter Paul Rubens
The Labarum, 1622
Oil on panel, 35.4 x 27.5 cm
Private collection

Catalog Entry by Marjorie E. Wieseman

The Labarum is one of twelve sketches that Rubens executed in 1622 for a cycle of tapestries depicting the life of Constantine the Great (288-337), the first Christian Roman emperor (see also Triumphant Entry of Constantine into Rome). It was the artist's second major foray into tapestry design, following the Decius Mus series (see Decius Mus Relating His Dreams). Unlike any of Rubens's other designs for tapestries, the Constantine tapestries were woven, not in the Southern Netherlands, but at the tapestry manufactory of Marc Comans and François de la Planche (Frans van der Plancken) in the Faubourg Saint-Marcel in Paris...

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