Drawn by the Brush: Oil Sketches by Peter Paul Rubens
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Myth and Majesty: The Humanistic Tradition
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Peter Paul Rubens
Two Prisoners, ca. 1628
Oil on panel, 31.7 x 49.8 cm
Private Collection

Catalog Entry by Peter C. Sutton

Two bound, seminude captives, one seated and the other kneeling on the ground, are arranged with their backs to one another, possibly tethered together. Behind and to either side of them are piles of armor and weapons—breastplates, helmets, shields, and spears. Framing the scene on either side are two tree trunks(?), and in the distance under swirling clouds, possibly the smoke of battle, is the line of a horizon. Most of the scene is drawn with quick black strokes and brushed veils of grayish green and blue paint, but the musculature of the two men is carefully modeled with flesh tones, and they wear white and gray drapery...

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