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

Portrait of Anne of Austria

Oil on canvas, 85 x 37 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

King Louis XIII found little to admire in the allegorical exuberance of Rubens' Baroque invention in the series painted for her mother, Marie de Médicis. He nonetheless commissioned his own portrait and that of his wife, Anne of Austria, along with a series of sketches and large cartoons of the story of Constantine. Rubens the diplomat-artist responded with rigorously classical portraits, from which every trace of Baroque invention was meticulously excluded. The mother of the future Sun King, Louis XIV, was portrayed in all her feminine majesty. This portrait was executed by the workshop of Rubens.

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