Drawn by the Brush: Oil Sketches by Peter Paul Rubens
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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

Catalog Entry by Peter C. Sutton

The personification of Peace tenderly embraces her counterpart embodying Plenty or Abundance. Plenty is seated and holds Peace tightly about the waist as if about to be lifted up. Wearing a pink gown with blue drapery, Plenty is identified by an S-shaped cornucopia overflowing with green apples, grapes, and heads of wheat. Peace wears a yellow gown that covers her only to the waist; her blond hair is tied with a red ribbon. Peace's identity was once underscored by a caduceus that she held in her right hand and which is still partially visible in the passages of overpaint, but this was edited out by the artist and only the bottom of its shaft is now fully visible. Behind the two figures rises in steeply foreshortened perspective architecture with a niche surmounted by a putto's head and flanked by two undulating Solomonic columns on the left and one on the right. The former are painted in shades of gray with white highlights, while the latter are executed more summarily in tones of brown...

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