RUBENS, Peter Paul
(b. 1577, Siegen, d. 1640, Antwerpen)

Madonna Adored by Angels (Madonna della Vallicella)

Oil on slate, 425 x 250 cm
Santa Maria in Vallicella, Rome

The Oratorians commissioned a painting from Rubens for the high-altar of their main church, Santa Maria in Vallicella. Rubens painted the Ecstasy of St Gregory the Great, however, it was rejected on the ground that it reflected the light entering the church too strongly. For this reason the canvas was replaced by a new version on slate. This was quite different from the first painting; its composition was divided over three separate panels. This work, still in its original place in Santa Maria in Vallicella, was ready in autumn 1608.