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 Duke of Buckingham, ca. 1625
Oil on panel, 46.6 x 51.7 cm
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, no. AP 1876.08

Catalog Entry by Peter C. Sutton

Seated astride a sorrel horse with gray mane and tail, the duke of Buckingham is portrayed as the General of the Fleet. Beneath him in the lower left corner are Neptune with a trident and a naiad who both look up with admiration at the young, handsome leader. Beyond some reeds the masts of a large fleet appear in the distance. In the golden yellow sky to the right above the duke flutters a genius holding the trumpet of Fame in his right hand, scattering flowers and blowing wind from his mouth to propel the fleet. The duke's mount is viewed in profile rearing on its hind legs, its head turned slightly toward the viewer. Clad in armor, bareheaded, and sporting a blue sash, bright red breeches, and a fluttering crimson and pink cape, Buckingham turns to look directly at the observer. Neptune has blue drapery and the genius diaphanous white drapery and yellow highlights in his hair...

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