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

Helene Fourment with her Children, Clara, Johanna and Frans

Oil on wood, 115 x 85 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

While commercial production continued apace in Rubens' studio, he reserved his strength for the intimate works that lay closest to his heart, and in particular to those that his young wife continuously inspired. Here his painting becomes deeply moving. There are no greater works in his catalogue than the portrait Helene Fourment with her Children, in which she is seen rosy-complexioned beneath a wide-brimmed feather hat that sets off her round cheeks.