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

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. Purchase the catalog.


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

Rubens as Entrepreneur: Designs for Sculpture, Architecture and Prints

This section examines Rubens's entrepreneurial activities, and how his work was disseminated throughout Europe. Rubens's oil sketches were widely used as designs for tapestries, engravings, and sculptures. The sketches reflect both Rubens's power to present a unified artistic ensemble and his pragmatic promotion of the reproduction of his designs in printed, woven, and sculptural form.

Peter Paul Rubens
St. Norbert Overcoming Tanchelm, ca. 1622-23
Oil on panel, 66.5 x 46 cm
Private collection

About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
The Road to Calvary (Christ Carrying the Cross), ca. 1632
Oil, emulsion paint on panel, 59.7 x 45.7 cm
University of California, Berkeley Art Museum, inv. 1966.16

About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
Last Supper, ca. 1632
Oil on panel, 61.8 x 48.5 cm
Private Collection

About this work

Peter Paul Rubens
The Elevation of the Cross (detail), ca. 1637-38
Oil on paper, backed by canvas, 60 x 126.5 cm (later enlarged to 70 x 131.5 cm)
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Purchase, 1928, acc. no. 906

About this work

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  UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive :: 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, California :: 510.642.0808
  Cincinnati Art Museum :: 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio :: 513.721.ARTS

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