Portraits (until 1629)
by Pieter Pauwel RUBENS

In his early portraits in Italy, Rubens modelled himself on the local artistic tradition. As in his history pieces, here, too, he found his starting point in the work of the great sixteenth-century Venetians. Explicitly Venetian are the two large equestrian portraits Rubens made in his Italian period. The fine full-length portraits of ladies from the highest social circles in Genoa, painted around 1606-07, possess an even more pronouncedly Venetian stamp. Their portraits have none of the courtly formality that was so characteristic of the Low Countries tradition of portraiture. Once back in Antwerp in 1608, Rubens adapted himself again to the Netherlandish tradition. Rubens group portraits of these years are notable for their severe structure.

Up to about 1620 Rubens's portraits — like all his work — continued to be marked by an emphatic plasticity and a smooth, impasto execution which allowed the painter to depict the texture of skin and clothing with conviction and sensitivity. In the later years of the second decade, however, Rubens's portraits started to make a more supple and lifelike impression, which gives them a spontaneity and directness which they had not possessed since his years in Italy.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 5 minutes):
Alessandro Stradella: Sinfonia avanti il Barcheggio


Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Portrait of a Young Scholar
1597
Oil on copper, 22 x 15 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

823*1300
True Color
103 Kb



Duke of Lerma
c. 1603
Oil on canvas, 283 x 200 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

900*1271
True Color
159 Kb



Portrait of Marchesa Brigida Spinola Doria
1606
Oil on canvas, 152 x 99 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

850*1300
True Color
154 Kb



Equestrian Portrait of Giancarlo Doria
c. 1606
Oil on canvas, 265 x 188 cm
Galleria Nazional della Liguria, Genoa

700*1077
True Color
98 Kb



Portrait of Maria Serra Pallavicino
1606
Oil on canvas, 241 x 140 cm
Private collection

800*1237
True Color
172 Kb



Portrait of Kaspar Scioppius
c. 1606
Oil on canvas, 116 x 88 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

971*1300
True Color
147 Kb



Self-Portrait in a Circle of Friends from Mantua
-
Oil on canvas, 78 x 101 cm
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne

1124*850
True Color
106 Kb



Christoffel Plantin
-
Oil on canvas
Museum Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp

703*1022
True Color
106 Kb



The Artist and His First Wife, Isabella Brant, in the Honeysuckle Bower
1609-10
Oil on canvas, 178 x 136,5 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

1000*1311
True Color
227 Kb



The Four Philosophers
1611-12
Oil on canvas, 164 x 139 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

1034*1200
True Color
140 Kb



Portrait of a Young Girl
1615-16
Oil on canvas, 37 x 27 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna

950*1177
True Color
157 Kb



Boy with Bird
c. 1616
Oil on panel, 49 x 40 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

1000*1215
True Color
177 Kb



Portrait of Jan Vermoelen
1616
Oil on panel, 126 x 96 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna

1000*1311
True Color
73 Kb



Portrait of Nicolas de Respaigne
1616-18
Oil on canvas, 206 x 120 cm
Staatliche Museen, Kassel

700*1232
True Color
155 Kb



Portrait of Lady Arundel with her Train
1620
Oil on canvas
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

1107*1100
True Color
148 Kb



Portrait of Infanta Clara Eugenia, Governess of the Netherlands
1620
Oil on canvas, 116 x 96 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

841*1020
True Color
116 Kb



Marie de Médici, Queen of France
c. 1622
Oil on canvas, 130 x 108 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

900*1104
True Color
78 Kb



Portrait of Anne of Austria
1621-25
Oil on canvas, 85 x 37 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

990*1200
True Color
161 Kb



Portrait of George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham
c. 1625
Oil on canvas, 65 x 50 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

681*960
True Color
63 Kb



Portrait of a Woman
-
Oil on canvas
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Marseille

729*1030
True Color
119 Kb



Portrait of a Chambermaid
c. 1625
Oil on panel, 64 x 48 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

945*1253
True Color
79 Kb



The Straw Hat
c. 1625
Oil on wood, 79 x 55 cm
National Gallery, London

746*1101
True Color
140 Kb



Isabella Brandt (?)
c. 1626
Oil on oak, 98 x 72 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

1037*1400
True Color
146 Kb



Isabella Brandt
c. 1626
Oil on canvas, 86 x 62 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

850*1181
True Color
116 Kb



Albert and Nicolaas Rubens
1626-27
Oil on wood, 157 x 93 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna

940*1600
True Color
112 Kb



Self-Portrait with a Hat
1623-25
Oil on wood, 85 x 61 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

800*952
True Color
52 Kb



Self-Portrait
1628
Oil on canvas
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

561*700
True Color
76 Kb



Portrait of Jan Gaspar Gevartius
c. 1628
Oil on panel, 119 x 98 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

851*1037
True Color
100 Kb



Portrait of Ambrogio Spinola
1625-28
Oil on oak, 117 x 85 cm
Národní Galerie, Prague

852*1200
True Color
182 Kb



Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara
1600s
Oil on canvas, 127 x 98 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

783*1001
True Color
71 Kb



Charles V in Armour
1603
Oil on canvas, 119 x 93 cm
Private collection

850*1122
True Color
111 Kb



Charles V and the Empress Isabella
-
Oil on canvas, 114 x 166 cm
Collection of the Dukes of Alba, Madrisd

1324*900
True Color
138 Kb




Summary of works by Rubens
Religious themes
until 1616 | 1617-20 | 1620s | 1630s
Altarpieces in Antwerp Cathedral | Biblical scenes
Mythological themes
until 1614 | 1614-29 | 1630s
Large royal projects | Allegorical themes
Portraits
until 1629 | 1630s
Miscellaneous
Landscapes | Hunting and other themes
Graphic works