RUBENS, Peter Paul
(b. 1577, Siegen, d. 1640, Antwerpen)
Marie de Médicis as Bellona1622-25
Oil on canvas, 276 x 149 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Certainly, it was not the rather heavy features of the Medici family, particularly evident in the queen, that had attracted Henri IV, but the scale of her dowry. Rubens nevertheless contrived to render her portrait agreeable. He disguised her now as an attractive Bellona, now as a proud horsewoman in The Capture of Juliers. The royal couple become Olympian deities in The Meeting of Marie de Médicis and Henri IV at Lyon, while The Fate Spinning Marie's Destiny and The Triumph of Truth became pretexts for a proliferation of female convexity.