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

The Virgin and Child with St Elizabeth and the Infant St John the Baptist

c. 1615
Oil on canvas, 151 x 113 cm
Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, Pedralbes

This group provides the opportunity to the artist to paint flesh tones, from the Virgin's delicate pallor to the glowing pinks of the children and the more weather-beaten face of the elderly St Elizabeth. The vitality and life of Rubens's art is here reflected in the composition and the poses of the figures, as well as in the brilliant colouring of the clothes and skin tones. The group is balanced by the coldness of the background, which is painted in subtle gradations of blues and greys.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.